We all enjoy a pretty website, but did you realise that graphic design is not web design? Building a site requires skills beyond those of traditional design. Confusing the two disciplines leads to problems for both designers and their clients.
Many graphic designers venture into web work because it is marketable, and they believe that all design is the same. Many people think that a digital agency offers the same portfolio of creative services as a traditional agency. However, most graphic designers have no web design experience and focus exclusively on look and feel. A good site has additional features built in. It must be optimized for the search engines, so the designer needs a basic knowledge of search engine optimization. Also, the user experience is different online than for print, and the designer needs to understand that it goes beyond graphic design.
The confusion between design disciplines has led to sites that are not friendly to search engines or people. Even a digital agency may focus on creative branding and overlook other requirements. The client may end up spending extra money to hire a proper web designer or web developer.
There are other differences as well. Unlike a paper image, a web page renders differently on varied devices and cross browser. Font choice is limited to a few that are cross browser, meaning they can be seen correctly in most browsers. Images must be optimized for web viewing, which can affect resolution. Colours are free, but some do not display well on the Web.
Good web layout differs from print. On the Web, less is more. The designer must account for the fact that web browsers, such as Explorer and Firefox, render web pages differently. Otherwise, the homepage banner that looks stunning in one browser may not display correctly in others.
A web design expert can be a good with print design, and many of the best melbourne web designers are from the print world. These designers realized that Web and print media are different and learned the new techniques. However, a designer untrained in the Web cannot create a successful site.
If you want to hire a web designer, do your research first. One way to tell if a designer really understands the Web is to look at the designer’s web portfolio. A web portfolio should consist of live sites that you can visit and examine. The portfolio will tell you if the designer is really a print person with the wrong job title. Do not ask a graphic designer to make a website design, because it is web designer work!