Web Design is an Art
Web site designers over the past couple of decades have generated web sites where visitors hail a big wow of approval or a low growl of disappointment. Regardless of whether it is considered a good design or a bad design, web site design has become an art form in and of itself.
Every type of artist begins with the proverbial blank canvas or empty page. In the case of digital artists, they begin with an empty screen. As the designer begins, every aspect of the site can be laid out, setup, themed out, or displayed with an artist’s flair.
Web Design as an Art Form
Art in all of its glory is a process that at the end results in a completed product deliberately produced to appeal to a recipient’s senses or emotions. Art involves creating, expressing, sharing, pleasing, evoking emotions, and sometimes creating controversy.
It takes many forms including music, film, writing, sculpture, paintings, drawing, and acting. Web site design often is an accumulation of many of those art forms. Artful Components of web sites can include:
- The graphic designs for the masthead, sidebars, and other areas
- Color and shading schemes including background, text, boxes, links, and navigational
- Layout of graphics, menus, content, and boxes
- Video clips
- Content writing
- Search engines
- The flow of the web site
- The menu system
- The speed and operation of a web site
- Inclusion of a contact page and how easy it is to find
- Online advertising
All of these elements can provoke a set of emotions. If the menu system is difficult to work around or should be easy items to find are hidden, the feelings that visitors experience may not be the exact emotions a designer may want to evoke.
When the site is easy to look at, navigation is simple, and the content is relevant and helpful, visitors leave with sense of accomplishment and a great appreciation for the site designer.
Web Design Awards
There are several awards devoted to providing designers with real-life examples of the good, the bad, and the downright ugly sites. First, the best of the bad and the ugly awards are given by Web Pages That Suck. Sites receive this award for any number of design blunders including:
- Using different colors for lines of text
- An unimaginable cluttered home page
- Using Flash items on any of the pages
- The content
- Ease of use in finding information
The best of the best can win a Webby Award from The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences which is made up of a 750 members of leading web experts, business people, luminaries, creative celebrities and former Webby Award winners, among others.
Sites receive the award based on a number of criteria such as:
- Pure looks
Appreciating Web Design
Most people using the Internet are doing so to accomplish a specific goal. Shopping for books, doing research, communicating with friends, or reading a newspaper are just a few of the activities.
Internet users get caught up in the speed and ease of using web sites and most people only notice the layout and design when it the site is confusing or it takes too much time to find something as simple as the contact information. Taking the time to appreciate the artist’s eye behind the web site design can produce a new level of surfing.