A great website is a marriage between web designing and programming. Both have to be working in sync to deliver a top user experience.
Website users are fickle. They expect a website to look sharp and run smoothly. If it doesn’t, they will go away and go to another site to get the information they need.
As a website developer, you need to know both to create a website that people will love.
Here’s what you need to know about web design and programming to create the perfect website.
How Are Websites Designed?
Often times, sites are designed in silos. There’s a designer who designs the site in Photoshop, which is often referred to as front-end development. Then there’s the programmer who codes the design from a Photoshop file, this is back-end development.
That’s not a bad way to go, but if you don’t understand programming as a designer, you can miss out on opportunities to create a great site. You’re only focused on design. Likewise, some programmers don’t have design acumen, so they create a technically sound site that’s poorly designed.
If it’s not two separate people designing the site, it’s one person designing the site with knowledge of one or the other. It’s rare to come across a programmer who’s excellent and web designing and programming.
How does that impact website users? Someone with impeccable design skills can create a beautiful site that communicates everything with images. From a design perspective, the user will be wowed by the site.
If they don’t have the coding skills or knowledge, they may not know to compress the images or resize them before uploading. These images are large files and can slow down your site. That can kill your user experience.
What Programmers Need to Know About Web Design
As a programmer, you know how to make a site run smoothly. That means making it fast for users. You also need to make sure your site is secure. Your expertise is in data science.
Your knowledge gap might be in good design practices, what users expect from a site, and how they use the site. These are some of the key design concepts you’ll need to understand as you develop a website.
What Are You Communicating?
When you look at design, you have to go beyond what you think looks good. You have to know what you’re trying to communicate. Color, fonts, and other visual cues communicate messages on a subconscious level.
If you’re trying to portray a company as a high-end boutique, you would want to use modern fonts, clean lines, and modern color palette.
Whitespace is the use of empty space on a web page. You may be tempted to fill up that space, but whitespace is used to draw your eye towards a certain area on the page.
Filling up whitespace can create clutter and your site visitors have no idea where to look first.
Color is used to communicate many things. You can emotions by the colors you choose on your site. If you need to communicate security or trustworthiness, blue is an effective way to communicate this. Your color choices are important, and you should study color theory to have a deeper understanding of color.
The fonts you use also communicate things, too. A handwritten font can communicate approachability. This would be effective on a personal website.
A playful font would be great for a website that’s for kids.
The important thing with choosing fonts is that they need to be readable as well as communicate a message.
What Designers Need to Know About Web Programming
Designers are all about aesthetics. You’re tuned in to the user experience. You already know how fonts, images, and colors play together.
The good news is that you don’t need to know everything about HTML or CSS programming languages to program your site. With a content management system like WordPress or Drupal, you can put together a website on the back end pretty easily.
There are things that you need to know about programming on the back end to make the site more efficient.
You might think that you can rely on plugins for your backend needs. Yes, there are plugins for almost every situation. The issue with plugins is that if you have too many plugins, your site will get bloated and slow down.
If you know enough code, you can forgo some of those plugins.
Translate Design to Code
If you’re just starting out in the world of programming, you want to know how your design translates to code.
The easiest place to start with basic HTML. If your home page starts with a heading, that’s most likely to have
When you code, everything has an open and close tag. If you want to have a big heading on your homepage that says “The Best Website Ever” you’d code it like this using a certain HTML tag.
The key to remembering HTML, and all programming languages, is that you’re giving a command. Those commands must have open and close tags.
Once you feel comfortable in HTML, you can move on to another programming language like CSS.
The things that you’re going to need to know about programming are resizing images, compressing images, and caching and compressing your site to make it faster.
Web Designing and Programming Create the Best Sites
A website is the marriage of design and technology. The best websites do both extraordinarily well. They apply the principles of web designing and programming to create sites that are free of clutter on the front end and the back end.
This translates into sites that users will love. Not only that, but it leaves a positive impression of your company, giving you a greater chance of converting those site visitors into brand evangelists.
Want more great tips about building the perfect website? Check out these images to give you a visually stunning website.