Web design refers to the design of websites that are displayed on the internet. It usually refers to the user experience aspects of website development rather than software development. Web design used to be focused on designing websites for desktop browsers; however, since the mid-2010s, design for mobile and tablet browsers has become ever-increasingly important.
A web designer works on the appearance, layout, and, in some cases, content of a website. Appearance, for instance, relates to the colors, font, and images used. Layout refers to how information is structured and categorized. A good web design is easy to use, aesthetically pleasing, and suits the user group and brand of the website. Many webpages are designed with a focus on simplicity, so that no extraneous information and functionality that might distract or confuse users appears. As the keystone of a web designer’s output is a site that wins and fosters the trust of the target audience, removing as many potential points of user frustration as possible is a critical consideration.
Two of the most common methods for designing websites that work well both on desktop and mobile are responsive and adaptive design. In responsive design, content moves dynamically depending on screen size; in adaptive design, the website content is fixed in layout sizes that match common screen sizes. Preserving a layout that is as consistent as possible between devices is crucial to maintaining user trust and engagement. As responsive design can present difficulties in this regard, designers must be careful in relinquishing control of how their work will appear. If they are responsible for the content as well, while they may need to broaden their skillset, they will enjoy having the advantage of full control of the finished product.
How to Change Your Career from Web Design to UX Design
Changing careers isn’t as hard as it’s often made out to be, especially if you’ve got the right resources to help you make the change. For many web designers, now is the perfect time to make the switch into UX design. To start with, there’s the monetary boost that comes with the change in career. According to PayScale, web designers in the US earn an average of $46,000 annually(1), while UX designers on the other hand earn a sizeable $74,000(2). Secondly, job opportunities for UX designers are booming: CNN reports that a total of 3,426,000 UX design jobs will be created in the US alone within the next 10 years(3). Furthermore, UX design is a meaningful job, not only because you get to work on a product from the inside out, but also because—as DMI has shown—UX design makes a significant impact on businesses, with UX design-driven businesses outperforming the S&P index by 228%(4). So, where do you find the right resources to help you make your career change? Why, you’re reading one right now.
To start with, let’s have a brief introduction to what we mean by “User Experience”. Products have users, and the user experience (UX) is simply the experience a user has from using that particular product. So far, so good?
What is User Experience and User Experience Design?
UX design is the art of designing products so that they provide the optimum possible user experience. If this description sounds broad, it’s because the nature of UX design is pretty broad. Building the optimum UX encompasses an understanding of psychology, interaction design, user research, and many other disciplines, but on top of it all is an iterative problem solving process (but more on that later).
Broadly speaking, user experience can be broken down into 3 components: the look, feel, and usability.