Leave no stone unturned. Get the answers to nine common (and slightly more complex) web design FAQs before investing in a new build or site refresh.

At Design in the Shires, we understand investing in a new website is a serious expense for your business. A crucial component to establish from the beginning is recognising how 94% of a website’s first impressions are reliant on the design.

So, before dipping your hand in your pocket, allow us to shed some light on some of the biggest web design frequently asked questions.

Whether you want to get to grips with the latest web design lingo or better understand the process, we want you to feel informed and confident about your decision to invest.

Web design frequently asked questions

1.    What is web design?

Web design is the process of designing a website with a priority placed on the appearance, layout, and navigation features. Considering these key features requires web design to focus on the overall user experience (UX) of website development more than the software development.

Arranging content and combining aesthetic features alongside optimising functionality for consumer satisfaction is the task of a web designer. Generating an online presence for your brand is often determined by the success of your website. A central component to this success will undoubtedly rely on the quality of web design.

For a quality visual finish, it requires a collaborative process between professional designers, SEO specialists, copywriters, and of course, the key decision makers for the business in question.

2. What are the 4 stages of web design?

When you sit with your web designer and they discuss the process of designing your website, they will probably break things down into four stages.

These stages include:

1. Foundation: architecture and wireframe

2. Content: SEO and navigation

3. Graphics, colours and multimedia

4. Launch, analyse, revise

The first stage is ensuring we build your website on solid foundations. The success of this stage relies on having a good relationship between the designer and the business owner. Making sure these building blocks are correct from the beginning will help you avoid any costly structural and performance-based problems later down the line.

The following stages of web design are less permanent and require regular revision, updating and optimisation.

3. What does UX mean in web design?

UX means “user experience”. In case you weren’t sure, this is the most vital element of your web design and any other digital marketing strategies or projects you intend to promote. Everything you do with your website should stem from this principle.

The UX in web design is a term used to describe a user’s ability to easily navigate your site and its role in the way they think, feel and act. It’s a human-centred approach to design, ensuring you consider how the user interacts with the final product above everything else.

It’s not so much the benefit of good UX but more the detriment of the opposite, as 90% of users won’t return to a site based on bad UX. The quality of the user experience impacts your SEO performance too.

4. What is responsive web design?

Responsive web design plays into the hands of UX by making your website flexible to adapt to multiple devices. To put this into context, over 70% of web designers believe a non-responsive website design is crucial to bad UX performance.

A responsive web design will detect your user screen size and adapt visually and functionally for ultimate usability and consumer satisfaction. So, whether your user is viewing your website from a six-inch smartphone screen or 24-inch monitor, your web design display will adjust accordingly to maintain optimal UX.

5. What is CMS in web design?

CMS stands for “content management system”. In web design, it can also be called a “web content management system” (WCMS). CMS enables your brand to manage digital information on your website without expertise in web programming, development, or markup languages.

Some open source and proprietary CMS examples include the following:

Open source

• WordPress

• Joomla

• Drupal

• Magneto

• PrestaShop

Proprietary CMS

• Shopify

• Kentico

• Microsoft SharePoint

• Pulse CMS

You can also invest in Software as a Service (SaaS) CMS options as virtual cloud solutions based on subscription models.

6. What does “above the fold” mean in web design?

“Above the fold” refers to the section of a web page you see before scrolling down. As the first thing your user sees, it’s crucial for the first impression of your brand. Any content below this section is considered “below the fold.” The “fold” consists of the area where the screens end and the content beneath begins.

The average user takes 2.6 seconds to make a first impression of a website, so much of this time and subsequent influence will be dictated by what’s “above the fold”.

7. What is a “hamburger menu” in web design?

A "hamburger menu" is an icon used on websites or mobile apps that reveals a side menu or navigation draw when activated. We identify the icon as a ‘triple bar button’. The "hamburger menu" was created to inform users that there was a list of items currently hidden but available to open.

The name “hamburger” comes from the three-lined design, symbolic of a hamburger or sandwich. On your website, this navigation tool helps keeps things organised and user-friendly.

8. What is a modal in web design?

A modal is a powerful pop-up feature that deactivates the rest of the web design to display in front of the user. Before returning to the web page, the user must first engage with the modal by completing an action or closing it.

Also called a “lightbox” or “modal window”, modals can be effective tools to grab users’ attention. A prime example of a modal in action is the cookie consent request or cookie banner that appears when we access a website.

OptinMonster is a prevalent tool used for lead generation. Businesses can use OptinMonster to execute email signup requests across various modal forms, such as popups, floating bars, full-screen welcome mats, slide-in scroll boxes, etc.

9. How to find a web designer?

Simple web design will provide an adequate website of performance and usability, but to enable your business to stand out from the crowd, sometimes you need a design beyond simple and on the stunning side of the spectrum.

At DITS, we transform the ordinary into the extraordinary by offering web design expertise that will engage your users while performing across various devices and rank high in search engines.

Taking the time to understand our client’s business helps us identify the USP of your brand identity. We display what makes you unique with an honest reflection of your values and services on an SEO-optimised, easy navigational website.

So, if you have any more questions about web design or you’re interested to invest in our services, please just pick up the phone and give us a call.

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