Web Design Business

Web Design Business

Web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites. The different areas of web design include web graphic design; interface design; authoring, including standardised code and proprietary software; user experience design; and search engine optimization. Often many individuals will work in teams covering different aspects of the design process, although some designers will cover them all.[1] The term web design is normally used to describe the design process relating to the front-end (client side) design of a website including writing mark up. Web design partially overlaps web engineering in the broader scope of web development. Web designers are expected to have an awareness of usability and if their role involves creating mark up then they are also expected to be up to date with web accessibility guidelines.

Web design books in a store

Although web design has a fairly recent history, it can be linked to other areas such as graphic design. However, web design can also be seen from a technological standpoint. It has become a large part of people’s everyday lives. It is hard to imagine the Internet without animated graphics, different styles of typography, background, and music.

In 1989, whilst working at CERN Tim Berners-Lee proposed to create a global hypertext project, which later became known as the World Wide Web. During 1991 to 1993 the World Wide Web was born. Text-only pages could be viewed using a simple line-mode browser.[2] In 1993 Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina, created the Mosaic browser. At the time there were multiple browsers, however the majority of them were Unix-based and naturally text heavy. There had been no integrated approach to graphic design elements such as images or sounds. The Mosaic browser broke this mould.[3] The W3C was created in October 1994 to “lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability.”[4] This discouraged any one company from monopolizing a propriety browser and programming language, which could have altered the effect of the World Wide Web as a whole. The W3C continues to set standards, which can today be seen with JavaScript. In 1994 Andreessen formed Communications Corp. that later became known as Netscape Communications, the Netscape 0.9 browser. Netscape created its own HTML tags without regard to the traditional standards process. For example, Netscape 1.1 included tags for changing background colours and formatting text with tables on web pages. Throughout 1996 to 1999 the browser wars began, as Microsoft and Netscape fought for ultimate browser dominance. During this time there were many new technologies in the field, notably Cascading Style Sheets, JavaScript, and Dynamic HTML. On the whole, the browser competition did lead to many positive creations and helped web design evolve at a rapid pace.[5]

In 1996, Microsoft released its first competitive browser, which was complete with its own features and tags. It was also the first browser to support style sheets, which at the time was seen as an obscure authoring technique.[5] The HTML markup for tables was originally intended for displaying tabular data. However designers quickly realized the potential of using HTML tables for creating the complex, multi-column layouts that were otherwise not possible. At this time, as design and good aesthetics seemed to take precedence over good mark-up structure, and little attention was paid to semantics and web accessibility. HTML sites were limited in their design options, even more so with earlier versions of HTML. To create complex designs, many web designers had to use complicated table structures or even use blank spacer .GIF images to stop empty table cells from collapsing.[6]CSS was introduced in December 1996 by the W3C to support presentation and layout. This allowed HTML code to be semantic rather than both semantic and presentational, and improved web accessibility, see tableless web design.

In 1996, Flash (originally known as FutureSplash) was developed. At the time, the Flash content development tool was relatively simple compared to now, using basic layout and drawing tools, a limited precursor to ActionScript, and a timeline, but it enabled web designers to go beyond the point of HTML, animated GIFs and JavaScript. However, because Flash required a plug-in, many web developers avoided using it for fear of limiting their market share due to lack of compatibility. Instead, designers reverted to gif animations (if they didn’t forego using motion graphics altogether) and JavaScript for widgets. But the benefits of Flash made it popular enough among specific target markets to eventually work its way to the vast majority of browsers, and powerful enough to be used to develop entire sites.[6]

During 1998 Netscape released Netscape Communicator code under an open source licence, enabling thousands of developers to participate in improving the software. However, they decided to start from the beginning, which guided the development of the open source browser and soon expanded to a complete application platform.[5] The Web Standards Project was formed and promoted browser compliance with HTML and CSS standards by creating Acid1, Acid2, and Acid3 tests. 2000 was a big year for Microsoft. Internet Explorer was released for Mac; this was significant as it was the first browser that fully supported HTML 4.01 and CSS 1, raising the bar in terms of standards compliance. It was also the first browser to fully support the PNG image format.[5] During this time Netscape was sold to AOL and this was seen as Netscape’s official loss to Microsoft in the browser wars.[5]

Since the start of the 21st century the web has become more and more integrated into peoples lives. As this has happened the technology of the web has also moved on. There have also been significant changes in the way people use and access the web, and this has changed how sites are designed.

Since the end of the browsers wars new browsers have been released. Many of these are open source meaning that they tend to have faster development and are more supportive of new standards. The new options are considered by many[weasel words] to be better than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

The W3C has released new standards for HTML (HTML5) and CSS (CSS3), as well as new JavaScript API’s, each as a new but individual standard.[when?] 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 (HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript).

Web 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 designers use both vector and raster graphics editors to create web-formatted imagery or design prototypes. Technologies used to create websites include W3C standards like HTML and CSS, which can be hand-coded or generated by WYSIWYG editing software. Other tools web designers might use include mark up validators[7] and other testing tools for usability and accessibility to ensure their websites meet web accessibility guidelines.[8]

Marketing and communication design on a website may identify what works for its target market. This can be an age group or particular strand of culture; thus the designer may understand the trends of its audience. Designers may also understand the type of website they are designing, meaning, for example, that (B2B) business-to-business website design considerations might differ greatly from a consumer targeted website such as a retail or entertainment website. Careful consideration might be made to ensure that the aesthetics or overall design of a site do not clash with the clarity and accuracy of the content or the ease of web navigation,[9] especially on a B2B website. Designers may also consider the reputation of the owner or business the site is representing to make sure they are portrayed favourably.

User understanding of the content of a website often depends on user understanding of how the website works. This is part of the user experience design. User experience is related to layout, clear instructions and labeling on a website. How well a user understands how they can interact on a site may also depend on the interactive design of the site. If a user perceives the usefulness of the website, they are more likely to continue using it. Users who are skilled and well versed with website use may find a more distinctive, yet less intuitive or less user-friendly website interface useful nonetheless. However, users with less experience are less likely to see the advantages or usefulness of a less intuitive website interface. This drives the trend for a more universal user experience and ease of access to accommodate as many users as possible regardless of user skill.[10] Much of the user experience design and interactive design are considered in the user interface design.

Advanced interactive functions may require plug-ins if not advanced coding language skills. Choosing whether or not to use interactivity that requires plug-ins is a critical decision in user experience design. If the plug-in doesn’t come pre-installed with most browsers, there’s a risk that the user will have neither the know how or the patience to install a plug-in just to access the content. If the function requires advanced coding language skills, it may be too costly in either time or money to code compared to the amount of enhancement the function will add to the user experience. There’s also a risk that advanced interactivity may be incompatible with older browsers or hardware configurations. Publishing a function that doesn’t work reliably is potentially worse for the user experience than making no attempt. It depends on the target audience if it’s likely to be needed or worth any risks.

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. Page pixel width may also be considered vital for aligning objects in the layout design. The most popular fixed-width websites generally 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. Most pages are also center-aligned for concerns of aesthetics on larger screens.[11]

Fluid layouts increased in popularity around 2000 as an alternative to HTML-table-based layouts and grid-based design in both page layout design principle and in coding technique, but were very slow to be adopted.[note 1] This was due to considerations of screen reading devices and varying windows sizes which designers have no control over. Accordingly, a design may be broken down into units (sidebars, content blocks, embedded advertising areas, navigation areas) that are sent to the browser and which will be fitted into the display window by the browser, as best it can. As the browser does recognize the details of the reader’s screen (window size, font size relative to window etc.) the browser can make user-specific layout adjustments to fluid layouts, but not fixed-width layouts. Although such a display may often change the relative position of major content units, sidebars may be displaced below body text rather than to the side of it. This is a more flexible display than a hard-coded grid-based layout that doesn’t fit the device window. In particular, the relative position of content blocks may change while leaving the content within the block unaffected. This also minimizes the user’s need to horizontally scroll the page.

Responsive Web Design is a newer approach, based on CSS3, and a deeper level of per-device specification within the page’s stylesheet through an enhanced use of the CSS @media rule.

Web designers may choose to limit the variety of website typefaces to only a few which are of a similar style, instead of using a wide range of typefaces or type styles. Most browsers recognize a specific number of safe fonts, which designers mainly use in order to avoid complications.

Font downloading was later included in the CSS3 fonts module and has since been implemented in Safari 3.1, Opera 10 and Mozilla Firefox 3.5. This has subsequently increased interest in web typography, as well as the usage of font downloading.

Most site layouts incorporate negative space to break the text up into paragraphs and also avoid center-aligned text.[12]

The page layout and user interface may also be affected by the use of motion graphics. The choice of whether or not to use motion graphics may depend on the target market for the website. Motion graphics may be expected or at least better received with an entertainment-oriented website. However, a website target audience with a more serious or formal interest (such as business, community, or government) might find animations unnecessary and distracting if only for entertainment or decoration purposes. This doesn’t mean that more serious content couldn’t be enhanced with animated or video presentations that is relevant to the content. In either case, motion graphic design may make the difference between more effective visuals or distracting visuals.

Motion graphics that are not initiated by the site visitor can produce accessibility issues. The World Wide Web consortium accessibility standards require that site visitors be able to disable the animations.[13]

Website designers may consider it to be good practice to conform to standards. This is usually 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 as well making sure coded elements are closed appropriately. This includes errors in code, more organized layout for code, and making sure IDs and classes are identified properly. Poorly-coded pages are sometimes colloquially called tag soup. Validating via W3C[7] can only be done when a correct DOCTYPE declaration is made, which is used to highlight errors in code. The system identifies the errors and areas that do not conform to web design standards. This information can then be corrected by the user.[14]

There are two ways websites are generated: statically or dynamically.

A static website stores a unique file for every page of a static website. Each time that page is requested, the same content is returned. This content is created once, during the design of the website. It is usually manually authored, although some sites use an automated creation process, similar to a dynamic website, whose results are stored long-term as completed pages. These automatically-created static sites became more popular around 2015, with generators such as Jekyll and Adobe Muse.[15]

The benefits of a static website are that they were simpler to host, as their server only needed to serve static content, not execute server-side scripts. This required less server administration and had less chance of exposing security holes. They could also serve pages more quickly, on low-cost server hardware. These advantage became less important as cheap web hosting expanded to also offer dynamic features, and virtual servers offered high performance for short intervals at low cost.

Almost all websites have some static content, as supporting assets such as images and stylesheets are usually static, even on a website with highly dynamic pages.

Main article: Dynamic web page

Dynamic websites are generated on the fly and use server-side technology to generate webpages. They typically extract their content from one or more back-end databases: some are database queries across a relational database to query a catalogue or to summarise numeric information, others may use a document database such as MongoDB or NoSQL to store larger units of content, such as blog posts or wiki articles.

In the design process, dynamic pages are often mocked-up or wireframed using static pages. The skillset needed to develop dynamic web pages is much broader than for a static pages, involving server-side and database coding as well as client-side interface design. Even medium-sized dynamic projects are thus almost always a team effort.

When dynamic web pages first developed, they were typically coded directly in languages such as Perl, PHP or ASP. Some of these, notably PHP and ASP, used a ‘template’ approach where a server-side page resembled the structure of the completed client-side page and data was inserted into places defined by ‘tags’. This was a quicker means of development than coding in a purely procedural coding language such as Perl.

Both of these approaches have now been supplanted for many websites by higher-level application-focused tools such as content management systems. These build on top of general purpose coding platforms and assume that a website exists to offer content according to one of several well recognised models, such as a time-sequenced blog, a thematic magazine or news site, a wiki or a user forum. These tools make the implementation of such a site very easy, and a purely organisational and design-based task, without requiring any coding.

Usability experts, including Jakob Nielsen and Kyle Soucy, have often emphasised homepage design for website success and asserted that the homepage is the most important page on a website.[16][17][18][19] However practitioners into the 2000s were starting to find that a growing number of website traffic was bypassing the homepage, going directly to internal content pages through search engines, e-newsletters and RSS feeds.[20] Leading many practitioners to argue that homepages are less important than most people think.[21][22][23][24] Jared Spool argued in 2007 that a site’s homepage was actually the least important page on a website.[25]

In 2012 and 2013, carousels (also called ‘sliders’ and ‘rotating banners’) have become an extremely popular design element on homepages, often used to showcase featured or recent content in a confined space.[26][27] Many practitioners argue that carousels are an ineffective design element and hurt a website’s search engine optimisation and usability.[27][28][29]

There are two primary jobs involved in creating a website: the web designer and web developer, who often work closely together on a website.[30] The web designers are responsible for the visual aspect, which includes the layout, coloring and typography of a web page. Web designers will also have a working knowledge of markup languages such as HTML and CSS, although the extent of their knowledge will differ from one web designer to another. Particularly in smaller organizations one person will need the necessary skills for designing and programming the full web page, while larger organizations may have a web designer responsible for the visual aspect alone.[31]

Further jobs which may become involved in the creation of a website include:

  1. ^ a b Lester, Georgina. “Different jobs and responsibilities of various people involved in creating a website”. Arts Wales UK. Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  2. ^ “Longer Biography”. Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  3. ^ “Mosaic Browser” (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  4. ^ Zwicky, E.D, Cooper, S and Chapman, D,B. (2000). Building Internet Firewalls. United States: O’Reily & Associates. p. 804. ISBN 1-56592-871-7. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b c d e Niederst, Jennifer (2006). Web Design In a Nutshell. United States of America: O’Reilly Media. pp. 12–14. ISBN 0-596-00987-9. 
  6. ^ a b Chapman, Cameron, The Evolution of Web Design, Six Revisions, archived from the original on 30 October 2013 
  7. ^ a b “W3C Markup Validation Service”. 
  8. ^ W3C. “Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)”. 
  9. ^ THORLACIUS, LISBETH (2007). “The Role of Aesthetics in Web Design”. Nordicom Review (28): 63–76. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  10. ^ Castañeda, J.A Francisco; Muñoz-Leiva, Teodoro Luque (2007). “Web Acceptance Model (WAM): Moderating effects of user experience”. Information & Management. 44: 384–396. doi:10.1016/j.im.2007.02.003. 
  11. ^ Iteracy. “Web page size and layout”. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  12. ^ Stone, John (2009-11-16). “20 Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Web Typography”. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  13. ^ World Wide Web Consortium: Understanding Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.2.2: Pause, Stop, Hide
  14. ^ W3C QA. “My Web site is standard! And yours?”. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  15. ^ Christensen, Mathias Biilmann (2015-11-16). “Static Website Generators Reviewed: Jekyll, Middleman, Roots, Hugo”. Smashing Magazine. Retrieved 2016-10-26. 
  16. ^ Soucy, Kyle, Is Your Homepage Doing What It Should?, Usable Interface, archived from the original on 8 June 2012 
  17. ^ Nielsen & Tahir 2001.
  18. ^ Nielsen, Jakob (10 November 2003), The Ten Most Violated Homepage Design Guidelines, Nielsen Norman Group, archived from the original on 5 October 2013 
  19. ^ Knight, Kayla (20 August 2009), Essential Tips for Designing an Effective Homepage, Six Revisions, archived from the original on 21 August 2013 
  20. ^ Spool, Jared (29 September 2005), Is Home Page Design Relevant Anymore?, User Interface Engineering, archived from the original on 16 September 2013 
  21. ^ Chapman, Cameron (15 September 2010), 10 Usability Tips Based on Research Studies, Six Revisions, archived from the original on 2 September 2013 
  22. ^ Gócza, Zoltán, Myth #17: The homepage is your most important page, archived from the original on 2 June 2013 
  23. ^ McGovern, Gerry (18 April 2010), The decline of the homepage, archived from the original on 24 May 2013 
  24. ^ Porter, Joshua (24 April 2006), Prioritizing Design Time: A Long Tail Approach, User Interface Engineering, archived from the original on 14 May 2013 
  25. ^ Spool, Jared (6 August 2007), Usability Tools Podcast: Home Page Design, archived from the original on 29 April 2013 
  26. ^ Bates, Chris (9 October 2012), Best practices in carousel design for effective web marketing, Smart Insights, archived from the original on 3 April 2013 
  27. ^ a b Messner, Katie (22 April 2013), Image Carousels: Getting Control of the Merry-Go-Round, Usability.gov, archived from the original on 10 October 2013 
  28. ^ Jones, Harrison (19 June 2013), Homepage Sliders: Bad For SEO, Bad For Usability, archived from the original on 22 November 2013 
  29. ^ Laja, Peep (27 September 2012), Don’t Use Automatic Image Sliders or Carousels, Ignore the Fad, ConversionXL, archived from the original on 25 November 2013 
  30. ^ Oleksy, Walter (2001). Careers in Web Design. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group,Inc. pp. 9–11. ISBN 9780823931910. 
  31. ^ “Web Designer”. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 

1: WEB DESIGN + DEVELOPMENT: Most musicians websites don’t provide a compelling experience for fans or prospects who visit their site. Don’t see your site as a static platform. Your site is a channel -here, you interact and present yourself to all those who are not fans yet. It must develop at least every month. Continued commitment to developing website design and content that more effectively express your brand as well as deepen your fans experience, so that they are confident and invested enough to make purchases…then sales happen. Industry people who provide opportunities are a whole separate group from your fan base and also have to be addressed directly through your website as the primary point of formal introduction to your brand, and a platform from which to broker propositions.

2: EMAIL MANAGEMENT: Maintaining fan engagement and interaction with email marketing management is still one the most dependable ways to create recurring revenue online, managing fans in such a way to optimize engagement that leads to sales over time through ongoing offers. Successful music marketing requires professional email management for musicians. Those who are interested in email marketing should know you will have to build your contacts with other online marketing efforts, most often a blog, or appc campaign to get sign ups. Then you must maintain your mail out, which is going to need regular content with which to present new propositions but once you can graduate to greater levels of automated email marketing, you can implement powerful systems to create wealth with minimum maintenance.

3: PPC MANAGEMENT / ADWORDS: AdWords Pay per click advertising through Google and other content networks is the quickest and most powerfully qualified option for advertising spending in 2009. With only as little as $20 p/week you can begin highly measured and finely targeted campaigns through AdWords. Google PPC is great for any entertainers or content providers who have put in the preparation of building an online platform that retains fan engagement and is also effective targeting specific genders, age groups and cities/regions for products or events and gigs. Even beginners can do well on Google through AdWords, but there are many typical mistakes made by those who fail to comprehend the complexity of how the system is balanced. Experience in using the PPC can lead to radically improved outcomes, minimizing AdWords costs.

9: Viral Marketing: More powerful than spreading ideas is building an idea that spreads itself. Whether a clever video or other online content, or proposition – a competition or a mash up – or even a piece of software or app, the possibilities are limitless. The essential concept is an idea or meme that proliferates through online sharing -without any secondary involvement from the musician or their marketing team. The success of Viral Marketing is never promised and taking risks to put forward powerful branding messages or leverage powerful value propositions that engage so deeply that it spreads online or through word of mouth is a long shot but always has the potential to be outrageously successful with a bit of character and flair.

10: Community building: Again building a forum or community for your fans to amass around your brand takes long term commitment and a large personal contribution to keep the buzz of the community alive – this can be a successful strategy if executed well, but must be timed well in an musicians career. But you can’t just create a strong forum based loyalty to an artist overnight. Certainly, strategies to nurture your community and provide functionality by way of a forum or other platforms that encourage different kinds of interaction and user driven content creation around your brand can be provided easily and inexpensively and provide great leverage, but early on there will need to be a dedicated effort to inject activity into the community space. This can be very time consuming and long term than many musicians are prepared for.

Web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites. The different areas of web design include web graphic design; interface design; authoring, including standardised code and proprietary software; user experience design; and search engine optimization. Often many individuals will work in teams covering different aspects of the design process, although some designers will cover them all.[1] The term web design is normally used to describe the design process relating to the front-end (client side) design of a website including writing mark up. Web design partially overlaps web engineering in the broader scope of web development. Web designers are expected to have an awareness of usability and if their role involves creating mark up then they are also expected to be up to date with web accessibility guidelines. Web design books in a store Although web design has a fairly recent history, it can be linked to other areas such as graphic design. However, web design can also be seen from a technological standpoint. It has become a large part of people’s everyday lives. It is hard to imagine the Internet without animated graphics, different styles of typography, background, and music. In 1989, whilst working at CERN Tim Berners-Lee proposed to create a global hypertext project, which later became known as the World Wide Web. During 1991 to 1993 the World Wide Web was born. Text-only pages could be viewed using a simple line-mode browser.[2] In 1993 Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina, created the Mosaic browser. At the time there were multiple browsers, however the majority of them were Unix-based and naturally text heavy. There had been no integrated approach to graphic design elements such as images or sounds. The Mosaic browser broke this mould.[3] The W3C was created in October 1994 to “lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability.”[4] This discouraged any one company from monopolizing a propriety browser and programming language, which could have altered the effect of the World Wide Web as a whole. The W3C continues to set standards, which can today be seen with JavaScript. In 1994 Andreessen formed Communications Corp. that later became known as Netscape Communications, the Netscape 0.9 browser. Netscape created its own HTML tags without regard to the traditional standards process. For example, Netscape 1.1 included tags for changing background colours and formatting text with tables on web pages. Throughout 1996 to 1999 the browser wars began, as Microsoft and Netscape fought for ultimate browser dominance. During this time there were many new technologies in the field, notably Cascading Style Sheets, JavaScript, and Dynamic HTML. On the whole, the browser competition did lead to many positive creations and helped web design evolve at a rapid pace.[5] In 1996, Microsoft released its first competitive browser, which was complete with its own features and tags. It was also the first browser to support style sheets, which at the time was seen as an obscure authoring technique.[5] The HTML markup for tables was originally intended for displaying tabular data. However designers quickly realized the potential of using HTML tables for creating the complex, multi-column layouts that were otherwise not possible. At this time, as design and good aesthetics seemed to take precedence over good mark-up structure, and little attention was paid to semantics and web accessibility. HTML sites were limited in their design options, even more so with earlier versions of HTML. To create complex designs, many web designers had to use complicated table structures or even use blank spacer .GIF images to stop empty table cells from collapsing.[6] CSS was introduced in December 1996 by the W3C to support presentation and layout. This allowed HTML code to be semantic rather than both semantic and presentational, and improved web accessibility, see tableless web design. In 1996, Flash (originally known as FutureSplash) was developed. At the time, the Flash content development tool was relatively simple compared to now, using basic layout and drawing tools, a limited precursor to ActionScript, and a timeline, but it enabled web designers to go beyond the point of HTML, animated GIFs and JavaScript. However, because Flash required a plug-in, many web developers avoided using it for fear of limiting their market share due to lack of compatibility. Instead, designers reverted to gif animations (if they didn’t forego using motion graphics altogether) and JavaScript for widgets. But the benefits of Flash made it popular enough among specific target markets to eventually work its way to the vast majority of browsers, and powerful enough to be used to develop entire sites.[6] During 1998 Netscape released Netscape Communicator code under an open source licence, enabling thousands of developers to participate in improving the software. However, they decided to start from the beginning, which guided the development of the open source browser and soon expanded to a complete application platform.[5] The Web Standards Project was formed and promoted browser compliance with HTML and CSS standards by creating Acid1, Acid2, and Acid3 tests. 2000 was a big year for Microsoft. Internet Explorer was released for Mac; this was significant as it was the first browser that fully supported HTML 4.01 and CSS 1, raising the bar in terms of standards compliance. It was also the first browser to fully support the PNG image format.[5] During this time Netscape was sold to AOL and this was seen as Netscape’s official loss to Microsoft in the browser wars.[5] Since the start of the 21st century the web has become more and more integrated into peoples lives. As this has happened the technology of the web has also moved on. There have also been significant changes in the way people use and access the web, and this has changed how sites are designed. Since the end of the browsers wars new browsers have been released. Many of these are open source meaning that they tend to have faster development and are more supportive of new standards. The new options are considered by many[weasel words] to be better than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The W3C has released new standards for HTML (HTML5) and CSS (CSS3), as well as new JavaScript API’s, each as a new but individual standard.[when?] 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 (HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript). Web 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 designers use both vector and raster graphics editors to create web-formatted imagery or design prototypes. Technologies used to create websites include W3C standards like HTML and CSS, which can be hand-coded or generated by WYSIWYG editing software. Other tools web designers might use include mark up validators[7] and other testing tools for usability and accessibility to ensure their websites meet web accessibility guidelines.[8] Marketing and communication design on a website may identify what works for its target market. This can be an age group or particular strand of culture; thus the designer may understand the trends of its audience. Designers may also understand the type of website they are designing, meaning, for example, that (B2B) business-to-business website design considerations might differ greatly from a consumer targeted website such as a retail or entertainment website. Careful consideration might be made to ensure that the aesthetics or overall design of a site do not clash with the clarity and accuracy of the content or the ease of web navigation,[9] especially on a B2B website. Designers may also consider the reputation of the owner or business the site is representing to make sure they are portrayed favourably. User understanding of the content of a website often depends on user understanding of how the website works. This is part of the user experience design. User experience is related to layout, clear instructions and labeling on a website. How well a user understands how they can interact on a site may also depend on the interactive design of the site. If a user perceives the usefulness of the website, they are more likely to continue using it. Users who are skilled and well versed with website use may find a more distinctive, yet less intuitive or less user-friendly website interface useful nonetheless. However, users with less experience are less likely to see the advantages or usefulness of a less intuitive website interface. This drives the trend for a more universal user experience and ease of access to accommodate as many users as possible regardless of user skill.[10] Much of the user experience design and interactive design are considered in the user interface design. Advanced interactive functions may require plug-ins if not advanced coding language skills. Choosing whether or not to use interactivity that requires plug-ins is a critical decision in user experience design. If the plug-in doesn’t come pre-installed with most browsers, there’s a risk that the user will have neither the know how or the patience to install a plug-in just to access the content. If the function requires advanced coding language skills, it may be too costly in either time or money to code compared to the amount of enhancement the function will add to the user experience. There’s also a risk that advanced interactivity may be incompatible with older browsers or hardware configurations. Publishing a function that doesn’t work reliably is potentially worse for the user experience than making no attempt. It depends on the target audience if it’s likely to be needed or worth any risks. 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. Page pixel width may also be considered vital for aligning objects in the layout design. The most popular fixed-width websites generally 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. Most pages are also center-aligned for concerns of aesthetics on larger screens.[11] Fluid layouts increased in popularity around 2000 as an alternative to HTML-table-based layouts and grid-based design in both page layout design principle and in coding technique, but were very slow to be adopted.[note 1] This was due to considerations of screen reading devices and varying windows sizes which designers have no control over. Accordingly, a design may be broken down into units (sidebars, content blocks, embedded advertising areas, navigation areas) that are sent to the browser and which will be fitted into the display window by the browser, as best it can. As the browser does recognize the details of the reader’s screen (window size, font size relative to window etc.) the browser can make user-specific layout adjustments to fluid layouts, but not fixed-width layouts. Although such a display may often change the relative position of major content units, sidebars may be displaced below body text rather than to the side of it. This is a more flexible display than a hard-coded grid-based layout that doesn’t fit the device window. In particular, the relative position of content blocks may change while leaving the content within the block unaffected. This also minimizes the user’s need to horizontally scroll the page. Responsive Web Design is a newer approach, based on CSS3, and a deeper level of per-device specification within the page’s stylesheet through an enhanced use of the CSS @media rule. Web designers may choose to limit the variety of website typefaces to only a few which are of a similar style, instead of using a wide range of typefaces or type styles. Most browsers recognize a specific number of safe fonts, which designers mainly use in order to avoid complications. Font downloading was later included in the CSS3 fonts module and has since been implemented in Safari 3.1, Opera 10 and Mozilla Firefox 3.5. This has subsequently increased interest in web typography, as well as the usage of font downloading. Most site layouts incorporate negative space to break the text up into paragraphs and also avoid center-aligned text.[12] The page layout and user interface may also be affected by the use of motion graphics. The choice of whether or not to use motion graphics may depend on the target market for the website. Motion graphics may be expected or at least better received with an entertainment-oriented website. However, a website target audience with a more serious or formal interest (such as business, community, or government) might find animations unnecessary and distracting if only for entertainment or decoration purposes. This doesn’t mean that more serious content couldn’t be enhanced with animated or video presentations that is relevant to the content. In either case, motion graphic design may make the difference between more effective visuals or distracting visuals. Motion graphics that are not initiated by the site visitor can produce accessibility issues. The World Wide Web consortium accessibility standards require that site visitors be able to disable the animations.[13] Website designers may consider it to be good practice to conform to standards. This is usually 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 as well making sure coded elements are closed appropriately. This includes errors in code, more organized layout for code, and making sure IDs and classes are identified properly. Poorly-coded pages are sometimes colloquially called tag soup. Validating via W3C[7] can only be done when a correct DOCTYPE declaration is made, which is used to highlight errors in code. The system identifies the errors and areas that do not conform to web design standards. This information can then be corrected by the user.[14] There are two ways websites are generated: statically or dynamically. A static website stores a unique file for every page of a static website. Each time that page is requested, the same content is returned. This content is created once, during the design of the website. It is usually manually authored, although some sites use an automated creation process, similar to a dynamic website, whose results are stored long-term as completed pages. These automatically-created static sites became more popular around 2015, with generators such as Jekyll and Adobe Muse.[15] The benefits of a static website are that they were simpler to host, as their server only needed to serve static content, not execute server-side scripts. This required less server administration and had less chance of exposing security holes. They could also serve pages more quickly, on low-cost server hardware. These advantage became less important as cheap web hosting expanded to also offer dynamic features, and virtual servers offered high performance for short intervals at low cost. Almost all websites have some static content, as supporting assets such as images and stylesheets are usually static, even on a website with highly dynamic pages. Main article: Dynamic web page Dynamic websites are generated on the fly and use server-side technology to generate webpages. They typically extract their content from one or more back-end databases: some are database queries across a relational database to query a catalogue or to summarise numeric information, others may use a document database such as MongoDB or NoSQL to store larger units of content, such as blog posts or wiki articles. In the design process, dynamic pages are often mocked-up or wireframed using static pages. The skillset needed to develop dynamic web pages is much broader than for a static pages, involving server-side and database coding as well as client-side interface design. Even medium-sized dynamic projects are thus almost always a team effort. When dynamic web pages first developed, they were typically coded directly in languages such as Perl, PHP or ASP. Some of these, notably PHP and ASP, used a ‘template’ approach where a server-side page resembled the structure of the completed client-side page and data was inserted into places defined by ‘tags’. This was a quicker means of development than coding in a purely procedural coding language such as Perl. Both of these approaches have now been supplanted for many websites by higher-level application-focused tools such as content management systems. These build on top of general purpose coding platforms and assume that a website exists to offer content according to one of several well recognised models, such as a time-sequenced blog, a thematic magazine or news site, a wiki or a user forum. These tools make the implementation of such a site very easy, and a purely organisational and design-based task, without requiring any coding. Usability experts, including Jakob Nielsen and Kyle Soucy, have often emphasised homepage design for website success and asserted that the homepage is the most important page on a website.[16][17][18][19] However practitioners into the 2000s were starting to find that a growing number of website traffic was bypassing the homepage, going directly to internal content pages through search engines, e-newsletters and RSS feeds.[20] Leading many practitioners to argue that homepages are less important than most people think.[21][22][23][24] Jared Spool argued in 2007 that a site’s homepage was actually the least important page on a website.[25] In 2012 and 2013, carousels (also called ‘sliders’ and ‘rotating banners’) have become an extremely popular design element on homepages, often used to showcase featured or recent content in a confined space.[26][27] Many practitioners argue that carousels are an ineffective design element and hurt a website’s search engine optimisation and usability.[27][28][29] There are two primary jobs involved in creating a website: the web designer and web developer, who often work closely together on a website.[30] The web designers are responsible for the visual aspect, which includes the layout, coloring and typography of a web page. Web designers will also have a working knowledge of markup languages such as HTML and CSS, although the extent of their knowledge will differ from one web designer to another. Particularly in smaller organizations one person will need the necessary skills for designing and programming the full web page, while larger organizations may have a web designer responsible for the visual aspect alone.[31] Further jobs which may become involved in the creation of a website include: ^ a b Lester, Georgina. “Different jobs and responsibilities of various people involved in creating a website”. Arts Wales UK. Retrieved 2012-03-17.  ^ “Longer Biography”. Retrieved 2012-03-16.  ^ “Mosaic Browser” (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-16.  ^ Zwicky, E.D, Cooper, S and Chapman, D,B. (2000). Building Internet Firewalls. United States: O’Reily & Associates. p. 804. ISBN 1-56592-871-7. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) ^ a b c d e Niederst, Jennifer (2006). Web Design In a Nutshell. United States of America: O’Reilly Media. pp. 12–14. ISBN 0-596-00987-9.  ^ a b Chapman, Cameron, The Evolution of Web Design, Six Revisions, archived from the original on 30 October 2013  ^ a b “W3C Markup Validation Service”.  ^ W3C. “Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)”.  ^ THORLACIUS, LISBETH (2007). “The Role of Aesthetics in Web Design”. Nordicom Review (28): 63–76. Retrieved 2014-07-18.  ^ Castañeda, J.A Francisco; Muñoz-Leiva, Teodoro Luque (2007). “Web Acceptance Model (WAM): Moderating effects of user experience”. Information & Management. 44: 384–396. doi:10.1016/j.im.2007.02.003.  ^ Iteracy. “Web page size and layout”. Retrieved 2012-03-19.  ^ Stone, John (2009-11-16). “20 Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Web Typography”. Retrieved 2012-03-19.  ^ World Wide Web Consortium: Understanding Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.2.2: Pause, Stop, Hide ^ W3C QA. “My Web site is standard! And yours?”. Retrieved 2012-03-21.  ^ Christensen, Mathias Biilmann (2015-11-16). “Static Website Generators Reviewed: Jekyll, Middleman, Roots, Hugo”. Smashing Magazine. Retrieved 2016-10-26.  ^ Soucy, Kyle, Is Your Homepage Doing What It Should?, Usable Interface, archived from the original on 8 June 2012  ^ Nielsen & Tahir 2001. ^ Nielsen, Jakob (10 November 2003), The Ten Most Violated Homepage Design Guidelines, Nielsen Norman Group, archived from the original on 5 October 2013  ^ Knight, Kayla (20 August 2009), Essential Tips for Designing an Effective Homepage, Six Revisions, archived from the original on 21 August 2013  ^ Spool, Jared (29 September 2005), Is Home Page Design Relevant Anymore?, User Interface Engineering, archived from the original on 16 September 2013  ^ Chapman, Cameron (15 September 2010), 10 Usability Tips Based on Research Studies, Six Revisions, archived from the original on 2 September 2013  ^ Gócza, Zoltán, Myth #17: The homepage is your most important page, archived from the original on 2 June 2013  ^ McGovern, Gerry (18 April 2010), The decline of the homepage, archived from the original on 24 May 2013  ^ Porter, Joshua (24 April 2006), Prioritizing Design Time: A Long Tail Approach, User Interface Engineering, archived from the original on 14 May 2013  ^ Spool, Jared (6 August 2007), Usability Tools Podcast: Home Page Design, archived from the original on 29 April 2013  ^ Bates, Chris (9 October 2012), Best practices in carousel design for effective web marketing, Smart Insights, archived from the original on 3 April 2013  ^ a b Messner, Katie (22 April 2013), Image Carousels: Getting Control of the Merry-Go-Round, Usability.gov, archived from the original on 10 October 2013  ^ Jones, Harrison (19 June 2013), Homepage Sliders: Bad For SEO, Bad For Usability, archived from the original on 22 November 2013  ^ Laja, Peep (27 September 2012), Don’t Use Automatic Image Sliders or Carousels, Ignore the Fad, ConversionXL, archived from the original on 25 November 2013  ^ Oleksy, Walter (2001). Careers in Web Design. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group,Inc. pp. 9–11. ISBN 9780823931910.  ^ “Web Designer”. Retrieved 2012-03-19. If you’ve already invested in a bunch of code in another framework, or if you have specific requirements that would be better served by Angular or React or something else, Predix UI is still here to help you. Jump over to our documentation site and start using the Predix UI components to speed up your work.

More reading:

Mess with demos and read more about Predix UI on our websiteRead Rob Dodson’s “The Case For Custom Elements: Part 1” and “Part 2” for some great technical and architecture info on custom elements, one half of the web component standardsRead about px-vis, Predix UI’s charting framework designed to visualize millions of streaming data points for industrial internet application

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