Web design is the skill of creating presentations of content (usually hypertext or hypermedia) that is delivered to an end-user through the World Wide Web, by way of a Web browser or other Web-enabled software like Internet television clients, microblogging clients and RSS readers.
Web design is a kind of graphic design intended for development and styling of objects of the Internet’s information environment to provide them with high-end consumer features and aesthetic qualities. The offered definition separates web design from web programming, emphasizing the functional features of a web site, as well as positioning web design as a kind of graphic design.(source: Denis Borodayev. Web site as a Graphic Design Object. Monograph. (Бородаев Д.В. Веб-сайт как объект графического дизайна. Монография. – Х.: Септима ЛТД, 2006. – 288 с. – Библиогр.: с.262-286. ISBN 966-674-026-5)
The process of designing web pages, web sites, web applications or multimedia for the Web may utilize multiple disciplines, such as animation, authoring, communication design, corporate identity, graphic design, human-computer interaction, information architecture, interaction design, marketing, photography, search engine optimization and typography.
• Markup languages (such as HTML, XHTML and XML)
• Style sheet languages (such as CSS and XSL)
• Server-side scripting (such as PHP and ASP)
• Database technologies (such as MySQL and PostgreSQL)
• Multimedia technologies (such as Flash and Silverlight)
Web pages and web sites can be static pages, or can be programmed to be dynamic pages that automatically adapt content or visual appearance depending on a variety of factors, such as input from the end-user, input from the Webmaster or changes in the computing environment (such as the site’s associated database having been modified).
With growing specialization within communication design and information technology fields, there is a strong tendency to draw a clear line between web design specifically for web pages and web development for the overall logistics of all web-based services.
To be accessible, web pages and sites must conform to certain accessibility principles. These accessibility principles are known as the WCAG when talking about content. These can be grouped into the following main areas.
• Use semantic markup that provides a meaningful structure to the document (i.e. web page)
• Semantic markup also refers to semantically organizing the web page structure and publishing web services description accordingly so that they can be recognized by other web services on different web pages. Standards for semantic web are set by IEEE
• Use a valid markup language that conforms to a published DTD or Schema
• Provide text equivalents for any non-text components (e.g. images, multimedia)
• Use hyperlinks that make sense when read out of context. (e.g. avoid “Click Here.”)
• Don’t use frames
• Use CSS rather than HTML tables for layout.
• Author the page so that when the source code is read line-by-line by user agents (such as a screen readers) it remains intelligible. (Using tables for design will often result in information that is not.
However, W3C permits an exception where tables for layout either make sense when linearized or an alternate version (perhaps linearized) is made available.
Website accessibility is also changing as it is impacted by Content Management Systems that allow changes to be made to webpages without the need of obtaining programming language knowledge.
Tim Berners-Lee published what is considered to be the first website in August 1991. Berners-Lee was the first to combine Internet communication (which had been carrying email and the Usenet for decades) with hypertext (which had also been around for decades, but limited to browsing information stored on a single computer, such as interactive CD-ROM design). Websites are written in a markup language called HTML, and early versions of HTML were very basic, only giving a website’s basic structure (headings and paragraphs), and the ability to link using hypertext. This was new and different from existing forms of communication – users could easily navigate to other pages by following hyperlinks from page to page.
As the Web and web design progressed, the markup language changed to become more complex and flexible, giving the ability to add objects like images and tables to a page. Features like tables, which were originally intended to be used to display tabular information, were soon subverted for use as invisible layout devices. With the advent of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), table-based layout is commonly regarded as outdated. Database integration technologies such as server-side scripting and design standards like W3C further changed and enhanced the way the Web is made. As times change, websites are changing the code on the inside and visual design on the outside with ever-evolving programs and utilities.
With the progression of the Web, tens of thousands of web design companies have been established around the world to serve the growing demand for such work. As with much of the information technology industry, many web design companies have been established in technology parks in the developing world as well as many Western design companies setting up offices in countries such as India, Romania, and Russia to take advantage of the relatively lower labor rates found in such countries.
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