Web design is about communication.
"Communication conveys that the work we do is functional and not just decorative. We can work visually and verbally in all media because our talent is communication,not technology." (BEYONDGRAPHIC.ORG
The job of "design" in building a website.
Graphic concepts are often the first impression potential customers or clients "see."
A viewer's interaction on your website is largely the results of design work that was created to support a visual concept through images and colors. It gives your viewer cues and directions by connecting the design elements with critical information in a unified theme.
Elements such as fonts and colors for example, are equally important to the design. Most visitors experience a website by these particular elements. As a whole, they make up your virtual storefront or window dressing so to speak.
Other important jobs that design accomplishes-
makes interacting with a site fun
can make a statement
gives a business personality
We've become quite the visually stimulated generation.
Color grabs our attention, it is something we are familiar with; while design impacts our emotions and satisfies a feeling.
Achieving a happy balance between these elements, greatly influences our decisions.
According to HIll Morton, a Color Psychologist and Branding Expert at www.colorcom.com, color heightens our perceptions and senses.
"In our current state of evolution, vision is the primary source for all our experiences. (Current marketing research has reported that approximately 80% of what we assimilate through the senses, is visual.)"
It's what drives the success of social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
Tech side of website design.
There's more than what meets the eye when building a website.
The term "web designer" is a blend of 2 jobs coming together to complete one.
As stated above, the "designer" part of building a website is about communicating visually.
The "web" part of building a website is about SEO, content writing, copywriting, alt tags, meta tags, and more.
Have you ever heard the "you can design a website in just an hour" advertisements? Yeah, me to and I do love the choice of having a website editor to work with. However, I know that-
using website editors are great for teaching clients how to maintain their websites and
uploading, dropping and dragging content and images onto a page does not build a website.
What does build a successful website?
SEO: Search Engine Optimization and Search Results
When you type in a key word or phrase in a search box, SEO is what delivers the results page. Your SEO content must be as good, or better than content from other sites in order to rank higher. Take a closer look at how it all comes together.
Every website has a specific target audience.
The content (text) on the website should contain keywords aimed towards a website's SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Content writing is basically a form of online writing that's designed to promote a specific product or service.
Copywriting is writing for the purpose of advertising.
The content aims to persuade a person or group to take a specific action, primarily to do business.
Content is written based on popular key phrases that search engines recognize.
In other words, relevant information is written to include key words and phrases.
Alt Tags & Meta Tags
An alt tag is an HTML attribute applied to image tags.
It provides a text alternative for search engines. which impacts a business's search engine ranking.
Meta tags are not as directly related to SEO, but they are important. Search engines use them as descriptions in search results.
In a nutshell,
The design of a website works to communicate a verbal message visually. It's purpose is to inform, create interaction and to instruct.
Whereas, the actual content and layout of a website creates the user's experience and speaks directly to the website's SEO.