May be you are not very friendly with things working behind the computer. You would be using internet in your daily life but “web designing” is a whole new term for you. So, just read on to get an idea behind the making of your favorite websites – their purpose and goals. And next time, when you will be visiting a website, you will get a better understanding and different approach towards its usability.
1- What is web designing?
A website project starts with an idea of being public. Attach your goals with this idea and prepare for a nice public appearance.
Web designing is a process of creating a website with planning and production. A web designing course covers all the steps that are part of this process and also provides knowledge of web technologies. You need to learn skills like creative designing, interface designing and few more.
Determining the steps in the process is very important while making a website, for keeping everything ready in one step that is required for the next step. This is important not only for project organization and time saving but also for team members of the project and successful progression of project workflow.
Web technologies are required almost in each step. The planning could be done on few pieces of paper but production and post-production are done on a computer and medium is always a web designing software or a web technology.
2- Why do we need a website?
A website is a digital form of a book, information brochure, collection of photos or videos, newspaper, an exercise book or it could be anything from a visiting card to an advanced e-commerce website with online facility to pay and book a world tour package.
A website is required by an individual or an organization which is willing to place some information over the internet. Internet is an easy and fast medium to find information if a user like you having access to it. While it’s easy for you to receive and send information sitting at home, the website owner is using the internet as a marketing tool to reach potential customers. In some cases, not for commercial gain, but a website is created to serve the society or community.
3- How would I know that I need a website?
A website project starts with an idea of being public. You should attach your goals with this idea and prepare for a nice public appearance. This appearance could be achieved by a website through internet. Use the power of internet to take advantage of your online appearance.
Explore the idea and find good reasons why you need a website. This is helpful to collect all the important information to put on your website so that it covers all the aspects of your goals and purpose. If you are clear about your goals and ready to take off, the process starts with a good planning and organization of your content.
4- How does it work?
Website is a collection of web pages. You can have a website with a single webpage and put all your information here divided in sections – distinguished by headings. Or you can have a website with multiple pages to dedicate each page to a single section.
In the later case, you also need a menu section which is common to all pages and provides clickable links to jump to different sections. A website is not a flipping book, that’s why a menu section is always available for accessing all the pages.
An internet user needs to understand navigation methods to access a website. The most popular method is providing underlined text which accepts mouse click event. Another popular example is a search box, which is an advanced feature to find information from large websites.
5- Do I really need to design my website?
A rich multimedia website stands for a wise use of different media formats. Multimedia, by its definition, involves variety of expressions.
To publish a website, all you need is textual content or information which is actually your message that you want to convey. The text and few images are enough to support the purpose of your website but if you want to make it popular among your users or compete with other websites, you really need to work on its aesthetic part. You should design your website with a great care.
Designing makes it look beautiful, attractive and lovable. Interface designing is also an important part which handles viewable areas, website features, easy navigation, and flexible layout – all at the same time.
6- How can I start web designing?
If you really need a website and ready with all the content, start with its home page that is cover page or first page. When someone visits your website, it opens up in first place by default. You can design it on paper; decide colors and theme; create a template for each page. Also you can take help of drawing tools, image editing tools and web designing softwares for visualization purpose before you start scripting your webpages.
Visualization is a pre-production process. Once you have finalized a design or layout, you need to write scripts to reproduce the design and create web pages. A scripted version of your design is processed by the web browser to display in its viewable area. You can ask at this point – why not put the design as it is, if it’s ready. Well, we can do that but our users can not interact with our website in this case. It will be lacking in flexibility, functionality and its usability. Its loading time is prime factor, which is also considered while scripting or programming a website.
7- What are HTML and CSS scripts?
A simple static website which is based on texts, colors and images requires a good knowledge of HTML. HTML is a scripting language which is helpful to layout a webpage and to edit its content. Examples are like setting colors and size for your texts, converting them into headings or making them interactive, placing images on the right or left (defined by planning and layouting) to the text and paragraph etc.
CSS is another scripting language which makes it easy to style the whole website from one place. HTML script handles the design and content of one page and it requires another copy of script to duplicate the design to be used in next page. On the other hand, one CSS file works as a standalone collection of styles and layout features. It could help to style as many pages as you want and works as long as it’s linked to HTML pages. You just need one line of script to attach this CSS file to your website and its pages.
8- Does web designing require programming skills?
9- How does multimedia help in web designing?
The most useful content on your website is text which is readable and meaningful. The next thing that makes your website even more useful is color. While black works best for text on white background, colors are even more useful to represent important areas, capture attention and highlight links which takes users to related parts on website.
A rich multimedia website stands for a wise use of different media formats. Multimedia, by its definition, involves different forms of expression. Your website could have images, illustrations and animations, audios or videos rather than just text and colors. A picture says a thousand words and an animation tells the whole story reducing the effort of navigating through different pages. Likewise, an online song put to play, offers a different browsing experience and a video helps to attach its users instantly.
10- Can I use multimedia to design my website?
One more important step in the designing process is editing multimedia files and having them ready for your website.
A designer spends a good amount of time working on these files before they go live over internet. Pictures, sound, video or animation – you can count these elements on fingers but there is a wide range of file formats and media types available for web publishing. A designer should have knowledge of major file formats and their nature of working. Most importantly he should be skilled enough to edit them using different editing softwares.
If you are obsessed with website designing and need a start, the best practice is using online tutorials and working with trial version of designing softwares. If you are looking for a career in website designing, I would suggest you to start with a course in graphic designing or communication design and then move to website designing course to gain technical skills. There are also courses which cover both parts with opportunity of parallel learning.