Website design involves combining a variety of elements to construct an attractive and informative site for web visitors to explore. However, when you are first learning about this type of design, all the terms seem to sound almost sound like a different language. When you set out to design your website, you need to learn what the following terms mean.

1 - Responsive Website Design (RWD)

Responsive Website Design (RWD)

RWD is used to design a website for optimal viewing no matter what device it is going to appear on for the visitor of the site. This allows mobile phones, PCs, or even tablets to navigate easily around the sites. The website will automatically adjust its size to fit the device on which it is viewed. Making this a very useful tool for web designers in this age of multiple online devices being used by web surfers on a daily basis. We all have seen those websites that look great on a PC only to be off center or otherwise distorted on a tablet or smartphone. This may sound simple in theory, but there are many elements that go into doing the responsive web design.

2 - HTML, CSS & Javascript

HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript

HTML5 - HTML simply means HyperText Markup Language and the five just means this is the most recent version for HTML. This is a cross-platform language for the Internet. A website designed using this language works well on tablets, PCs, smart TVs or smartphones unlike some of the other versions of HTML.

This language allows the website designer to direct the Internet browser how to display certain elements of the site. It involves various tags to mark the content for particular purposes and also to display pictures as images and not text.

CSS3 - This is the latest version of CSS, which stands for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS3 allows the web designers to add certain rules to the web page, so that the content will appear correctly on the web browser. This works on various parts of the web page including the background and the text color. It also allows the designer to set the position, shape and size of the various sections of the web pages.

JavaScript - This is a programming code that is easy to learn and is used in HTML5. It is used quite a bit by qualified web designers. JavaScript is used for validating forms, providing unique visual elements, and some other functions. Do not mix this script up with the programming language of Java, as they are not the same thing in any way.

3 - Server side scripting

Server-Side Scripting

Server-side scripting allows the data to be manipulated on a server with PHP or other similar language. There is the client's side of the website that can be used for manipulating the data and other elements of the website using JavaScript, as explained earlier. However, data can also be controlled at the server. Most of the time both methods are used to control a website, but the second way takes knowing the server-side scripting. This scripting covers a wide range of languages that are employed to manipulate data at the server level. These languages allow web developers to design complex logic functions to communicate with date operations and the database, and then to feed the resulting information to the web browser. Being able to make these adjustments at the server takes the strain of the developer's browser.

4 - Visual Hierarchy

Visual Hierarchy

Establishing a visual hierarchy on a website is of utmost importance. This allows the viewer to notice the most crucial elements first. A web designer must do this in order to communicate the intended purpose for the website effectively.

The overall theme of the website is usually exhibited using text, colors and images. In addition, the web designers can manipulate these items to be more or less noticeable. Large objects and text are noticed before small ones are. Bright, vivid colors will catch the web visitors eyes before the pale, pastel colors will. In addition, images in the foreground are more noticeable that ones in the background, or larger sized ones will also been looked at first. Contrast, placement, style and texture also have a bearing on whether an element is noticed immediately or even ignored.

A web designer must learn how to use all these elements and more correctly to bring about a visual heirarchy on a website. Once this hierarchy is established correctly, the web visitor cannot do anything but get the message of the site. This helps a company or person communicate a unique message through a website.

5 - Parallax Scrolling

Parallax Scrolling

Parallax scrolling is a unique technique that is used in designing graphics for the computer. It provides a 2D effect to the graphics. This scrolling has been used for years in video games to offer depth. It involves the background images moving slower than the images in the foreground. This provides the perfect illusion for 2D imagery.

The scrolling technique provides added depth to any website it is used. If a web owner wants a more dimensional feel to his website, he needs to make sure the designer of it knows how to perform it correctly. Why create a flat-looking website if it can have depth and dimension? The more depth the site can be given the more personality it will have. It does not have to be overdone to be effective. Just a touch of it will add enough depth.

Parallax scrolling ranges from simple to quite complicated depending on the desired outcome. It is important to accomplish this scrolling without hampering the look of the elements on the website. The scrolling should enhance the features not overwhelm them.

These are five important design terms that everyone who has a website should understand. The techniques described above enrich and enhance any website. However, they must be executed correctly. Experienced web designers know how to do these things in the proper manner. Even if someone else is designing your website for you, it helps for you also to understand what to ask for in the finished design.

Published in Web Design Blog