Web design is a branch of graphic design dealing with the planning, development and completion of a website. It is important to understand that Web design is limited to graphic development, and to the planning and ordering of the information already existing in the website. In other words, a Web designer does not make a website, but he designs it. A website consists of both design as well as programming. It should also be pointed out that “website” is not exactly the same as "Web page", since the second term refers to each of the pages of a website. However, we will be more flexible and will consider them quite like synonyms.
If well-designed, a Web page should be attractive from a graphic point of view –pleasant to the eyes and coherent with the other elements of design (see The Corporate Identity). In addition, from a functional point of view, it should ensure the user a good, simple surfing and easy access to information, apart from making a good impression of the company it is representing. All these are the attributes of a fine website. Consequently, if any of them happens to fail, instant correction is required –in order not to drive too many new visitors away–.
Web design is essential nowadays: a company without a website is a very rare sight. Failing a website a company will look old-fashioned, obsolete, weak and tiny. Worse still, it will be within nobody’s reach. Therefore, by investing just a little money in Web design, a firm’s possibilities in the market will expand hugely –and we really mean “hugely”, as the Internet is the favorite medium for commercial affairs.
Now then, we must make something clear before going ahead. Although being on the Internet is certainly essential, this does not mean that you ought to be there anyhow. It is plain enough that, in commercial terms, the Internet is extremely important, and a Web page an extraordinary advertising tool. However, advertising can be good as much as bad –and no-one wants that his most powerful advertising tool makes a bad impression of him. That is why hiring a good designer is equally essential. There are two rules:
A high reputation can be deceptive: remember that more expensive and famous may not always be the same as better. Hiring this service permits seeing the final result in advance, so take advantage of this. You can even see different websites already finished, which will allow you to evaluate each particular style. This is how you should choose the designer for your website; either a design agency or a freelance designer, judge work, not fame.
Hiring a friend is not a good idea: every time someone wants to launch a Web page there is some enthusiastic friend who offers to design it for him. Unless this friend happens to be a designer, giving up this idea is the best course of action. A professional website is not necessarily costly. A faulty or bad design, however, is too high a price to pay.
Finally, try to make an appointment with the person who will be in charge of your company’s website. You had better hire a reliable designer in order that you do not need to ask him for explanations all the time –especially if you do not know much about design or the Internet.
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