Tuesday, 20 November 2012 01:50

Web Design

What do you think Web Design really is?

Most people probably think that creative web design is all about the creation of new fresh ideas - while sitting on red valour lounges with a sketch pad.  Well, sometimes it is but most of the time its about researching, adopting, and modifying.

Creative design, just like programming, frequently takes existing ideas and uses them as inspiration for something new.  Although the original design may have been the start - the end product usually looks very little like the originating idea.  In programming the same is true and probably more so.  Programming follows the rule of "build it really well once and use it a thousand times".  Interweaving reuses elements of technology, programming and design every time we build a website.  In fact one of the untold truths of web development is that most projects are largely about putting existing design, programming code, and ideas together to shortcut the process.  Why?  To build completely original applications and designs from scratch is REALLY expensive.  There is no point in constantly reinventing the wheel.

What this means in real terms is Reuse.  Reuse saves you an enormous amount of money, time, and avoids risk.  Through reuse we can now deliver web projects that would have cost tens of thousands a few years ago for only a few thousand dollars now.  Most of the building blocks of web development are already available if you know where to find them.

So what does that mean?  In simple terms that means that 90% of everything you would like to do in any web project can be done quickly, simply, and cheaply.  It also means that the other 10% of what you may want is typically impractical or unnecessary.  If enough people in the world have wanted what your looking to build before you - the world of programming has probably built it already.  You will be surprised how much is available right off the shelf to meet your needs.

What is very important is your organisation's brand and style.  Web design takes your brand and formalises it into a style specification. The style sheet describes the logo, image elements, fonts, colours, textures, and format for your website.  Sometimes this is just an extension of an already well defined offline style.  Although frequently it requires significant interpretation or stylising to make the transition to online.

In summary, a website is a combination of a large share of reused technology & design; some custom applications and creative design; and a liberal amount of stylising to interpret your business brand online.  After that all you need is a self-administered content management system with original content (information) and you have an extremely usable and valuable website.

That last thing to understand may be counter-intuitive to you.  Most of the custom creative design happens just before delivery.  With modern technology websites are built using a content management system.  First you create a website map that defines the size and shape of a website. Then we create navigation, visual elements, web technology, and everything that shapes each web page.  After that the style sheet is applied, and the website becomes fully functional with all the technical elements required.  This is when the truly creative element of web design is applied.  It is taking a functional and usable website and making it attractive - infusing your organisations look and feel in the process.

Every website is different.  Some end up being all about the technology and others are only about the design.  Interweaving understands that both elements are important and we can customise your website to represent how important each element is to you.

Would you like to talk about design?  Contact us here for your free consultation