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While the term "web design" has become shorthand for "web design and development," we see web design as a discipline that's distinct from, but related to, website development. The first deals with art, the second with technology. And the two must work together.
Web design focuses on aesthetics, on eyepaths, on making your site attractive yet functional. Any website must have a purpose, and the design's job is to guide the visitor toward fulfilling that purpose — while delivering a pleasing aesthetic experience.
Apart from being proficient in web design, a good web designer must also be fluent in web technology. They must know what HTML and CSS and Flash can do. They must know if a coder can translate their visual prescription into browser-friendly language.
There's more. Navigation and information architecture also fall in the web designer's domain. This adds another layer of complexity to an already exacting task.
Before You Hire a Web Designer
Don't just look at their designs. Look at how their sites work. Are they easy to use? Does the design help fulfill the site's purpose?
Because making a site visually appealing is one thing. Making it visually appealing and easily navigable and technically feasible and conducive to meeting business goals — that requires a larger skill set.
One you'll find at Access Communications.