Web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites. The different areas of web design include web graphic design;
interface design; authoring, including standardised code and proprietary software; user experience design; and search engine optimization. Often many individuals will work
in teams covering different aspects of the design process, although some designers will cover them all. The term web design is normally used to describe the design process
relating to the front-end (client side) design of a website including writing mark up. Web design partially overlaps web engineering in the broader scope of web development.
Tools and technologies
Web designers use a variety of different tools depending on what part of the production process they are involved in. These tools are updated over time by newer standards and
software but the principles behind them remain the same. Web graphic designers use vector and raster graphics packages for creating web formatted imagery or design prototypes.
Search engine optimisation tools may be used to check search engine ranking and suggest improvements.
Skills and techniques
Marketing and communication design
Marketing and communication design on a website may identify what works for its target market. This can be an age group or particular strand of culture; thus the designer may
understand the trends of its audience. Designers may also understand the type of website they are designing, meaning, for example, that (B2B) business-to-business website design
considerations might differ greatly from a consumer targeted website such as a retail or entertainment website.
User experience design and interactive design
Users understanding the content of a website often depends on users understanding how the website works. This is part of the user experience design. User experience is related to
layout, clear instructions and labeling on a website. How well a user understands how they can interact on a site may also depend on the interactive design of the site. If a user perceives
the usefulness of that website, they are more likely to continue using it. Users who are skilled and well versed with website use may find a more unique, yet less intuitive or less user-friendly website interface useful nonetheless.
Part of the user interface design is affected by the quality of the page layout. For example, a designer may consider if the site's page layout should remain consistent on different pages when designing the layout.
Page pixel width may also be considered vital for aligning objects in the layout design. The most popular fixed-width websites generally have the same set width to match the current most popular browser window, at the
current most popular screen resolution, on the current most popular monitor size. Most pages are also center-aligned for concerns of aesthetics on larger screens.
Web designers may choose to limit the variety of website typefaces to only a few which are of a similar style, instead of using a wide range of typefaces or type styles. Most browsers recognize a specific number of safe fonts,
which designers mainly use in order to avoid complications.
The page layout and user interface may also be affected by the use of motion graphics. The choice of whether or not to use motion graphics may depend on the target market for the website. Motion graphics may be expected or at
least better received with an entertainment-oriented website. However, a website target audience with a more serious or formal interest (such as business, community, or government) might find animations unnecessary and distracting
if only for entertainment or decoration purposes. This doesn't mean that more serious content couldn't be enhanced with animated or video presentations that is relevant to the content. In either case, motion graphic design may make the difference between more effective visuals or distracting visuals.