Web Design

Website Design GraphicWebsite design encompasses many different skills as well as disciplines in the production and maintenance associated with internet websites. The areas of web design are many and include graphic design, user experience (UX) design, site content writing, the use of standardize code and proprietary software, search engine optimization (SEO), and of course, the aesthetic user interface. Frequently many individuals, generally working in groups, cover different aspects of the styling process although, at Devrod, our creative designers are so versed as to cover them all. The phrase web design is normally used to explain the design process as it relates to the actual front-end (client side) of a website including writing markup and designing layout. Web site design partially overlaps with web architecture and in a broader scope web development. Web-site designers are expected to have an awareness of functionality in conjunction with creating mark-up. In addition, they are also expected to be able to comply with web coding and site accessibility guidelines. Our designers are experts in all aspects of internet web site development and architecture.

In the evolution of web design, Microsoft released their first browser Internet Explorer 1.0 (IE) in 1996. It had its own set of features and tags. IE was the first browser to support something called style sheets, which at the time, was seen as an obscure authoring technique. Prior to that websites were laid out using tables, like a spreadsheet. The HTML markup for tables was originally intended for displaying tabular data. However, designers quickly realized the potential of using HTML tables for creating complex, multi-column layouts that were otherwise not possible. At that time, design and aesthetics seemed to overtake the need for good mark-up structure, virtually no attention was paid to semantics and accessibility. HTML sites were limited in design options, even more so with the earlier versions of HTML. Devrod's founder started his career using this kind of design. To create complex designs, he had to use complicated table structures like using a blank .GIF image as a spacer to keep empty table cells from collapsing. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) were introduced in late 1996 by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an organization to develop web standards that supported the presentation and layout layer. This allowed HTML code to be marked up semantically while using CSS for presentation, which improved web design and accessibility. That same year, Flash, an animation tool, was developed. The Flash content development tool was simple compared to today’s standards. It used basic layout and drawing tools, and was the precursor to ActionScript time-lines. It enabled web designers to go beyond the use of HTML, animated GIFs and JavaScript. However, many web developers avoided using it, because Flash required a plug-in, raising compatibility issues. Instead, designers reverted to .gif animations and used JavaScript for widgets. However, the benefits of Flash in the promotional market made it popular enough to eventually worked its way to the vast majority of browsers, and became powerful enough to develop entire sites.

HTML5 :

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has released new standards for HTML5 and CSS3, as well as new JavaScript application program interfaces (API), each as individual standards. While the term HTML5 is only used to refer to the new version of HTML and some of the JavaScript API's, it has become common to use it to refer to the entire suite of new standards of HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript.

Tools and Technologies :

Devrod designers use a variety of different tools depending on what part of the production process they are involved in. These tools are updated over time by newer standards and software but, the principles behind them remain the same. Web/graphic designers will use both vector and raster based graphic editors to create web-formatted images and mockups for designing prototypes. Technologies used to create websites include (W3C) standards like HTML5 and CSS3, which can be hand-coded or generated by WYSIWYG (WIZ-ee-wig) editing software. Other tools our web designers might use include mark-up validators and other testing tools for usability and accessibility to ensure your web sites meets web accessibility guidelines.

User Experience Design :

The user's knowledge of the content of a website often depends on a user’s understanding of how the internet web-site works. This is part of the User Experience (UX) design. User experience is related to layout, labeling and instructions on the website. The ability of a user to understand how to interact with a site also depends on the UX design of the site. If a user sees and understand the usefulness of the website, they are more likely to continue using it. Users who are skilled and well versed in websites navigation may use a less intuitive site with a less user-friendly website interface anyway. However, users with less experience are less likely to see the advantages of a less intuitive site interface and go somewhere else. The trend is for a more universal UX with ease of access to accommodate as many users as possible regardless of their skill, especially in the ever increasing mobile trend. Much of the User Experience designs are considered in designing the user interface. Advanced functions may require plug-ins and coding language skills. Choosing whether or not to use interactivity that requires plug-ins is a critical decision in UX design. If the plug-in doesn't come pre-installed with the browsers, there's a risk that the user will have neither the know-how nor the patience to install a plug-in to access the content. If the function requires advanced coding language skills, it may be too costly in time or money to code, compared to the amount of enhancement the function will add to the experience. There's also a risk that advanced interactivity may be incompatible with older browsers or hardware. Publishing a function that doesn't work reliably is potentially a disaster for the user experience and present a fine line to balance. It depends on the target audience if it's likely to be worth the risks.

Page Layout :

Part of the user interface design is affected by the quality of the page layout. For example, a designer may consider whether the site's page layout should remain consistent on different pages when designing the layout. In the past page pixel width was considered vital for aligning objects in the layout design. The most popular fixed-width websites generally will have the same set width to match the current most popular browser window, at the current most popular screen resolution, on the current most popular monitor size. Pages are center-aligned for concerns of aesthetics on larger screens. However, fix-width website design is becoming a thing of the past with the explosion of the mobile smart phone. The trend in today’s website design is increasingly moving to what's known as fluid, adaptive, or responsive design. Although not technically the same they share the same core goal, to present the site in the best light independent of the device on which it is displayed. Responsive Web Design is a newer approach, it is based on HTML5 and CSS3, and has a deeper level of per-device specifications within the page's stylesheet through an enhanced use of the CSS @media rules. The content can be controlled in its presentation regardless of the device size in either portrait or landscape modes. Responsive design is a culmination of fluid and adaptive design and is the philosophy we use at Devrod. Your site will be present in its best possible design whether it be on a mobile phone, phablet, tablet, laptop, desktop, or even a TV.

Typography :

Web designers in the ice age chose to limit the variety of website fonts to only a few which are of a similar style, instead of using a wide range of fonts. A side note: typefaces or type styles are used in print text, fonts are used for digital text. Most browsers recognize a specific number of safe fonts, which designers mainly use in order to avoid complications. Font downloading has been included in the latest CSS3 font’s module and has been implemented in all browsers. This has subsequently increased interest in web font typography, as well as the usage of font downloading. Now it is possible to have almost any font you might desire. However, a good designer will be prudent in font usage as to avoid the site from becoming too "busy" and drive off users.

Code Quality :

Devrod designers consider it to be best practice to conform to standards. This is done via a description specifying what the element is doing. Failure to conform to standards may not make a website unusable or error prone, but standards can relate to the correct layout of pages for readability and reliability. This means making sure coded elements are closed appropriately so search engine penalties are not imposed. This will result in an organized layout of code, and make sure IDs and Classes are identified properly. Poorly-coded pages are sometimes called "tag soup". Validating via W3C can only be done when correct declaration are used to identify and highlight errors in code. The validation system identifies these errors and areas that do not conform to the W3C web design standards. We only use quality code that will pass W3C validation. You can confirm this yourself by clicking on the HTML5 and CSS3 validators at the bottom of the page

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