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Web Design Comes only 2nd!

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Web Design Comes only 2nd!

Post by erione on Sat 18 Apr 2009, 7:37 am

Now, if you’re a web designer you might not appreciate the bluntness of this truth:

Web design is subservient to content

But, understanding what web design is, you’re not offended because you know any kind of design (architecture, graphic design, fashion etc.) is about communication and function. Design that fails to communicate or fulfil its functional requirements is decoration and will not be successful.

You know the 5 critical aspects of a website, in order of importance, are:

1. Content — the substance of the website. The largest and most important aspect. It’s why the website exists and what visitors come to see.
2. Functionality — dictated by the content, the purpose of the website and the audience… what interactivity is required/ desired to fulfil the website’s aim.
3. Usability — user-friendly with a simple and reliable interface. The design must make the content easily accessible no matter the technology its viewed on.
4. Visibility — a website must reach its audience. The site must provide quality content optimised for search engines and to attract visitors/ backlinks.
5. Appearance — graphic design creating the optimal layout and visual style to reinforce the message being communicated.

Starting with quality content, the site must then meet functional requirements, ensure usability and visibility. Only once this is achieved can or should the appearance be decided.

A successful website is one that communicates effectively with its target audience. And what’s our primary means of communicating? Words. Copywriting is essential in effective communication and it’s no accident that the vast majority of online content is the written word.

Attention-grabbing headlines and ad copy, creative and memorable marketing messages, NLP and engaging web content, killer sales copy and strong calls-to-action… these all place different demands on the design.

In other words, web design is dictated by content and therefore by copy. Everything from the number of pages, structure, semantic XHMTL and onsite SEO to the layout… Copy should also have a huge influence on the appearance as both must work in harmony.

Photoshop is the final stage in a long design process — before you reach for it ensure you’re designing to maximise the value of the content, not producing pretty but ineffective decoration.

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Original Article:
http://digg.com/d1ozHl
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Re: Web Design Comes only 2nd!

Post by someoneinsane on Sat 18 Apr 2009, 8:06 am

Great find!
Helped me out a bit.

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Re: Web Design Comes only 2nd!

Post by erione on Sat 18 Apr 2009, 8:27 am

Thanks. I hate to admit that web design isn't the first Smile

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