Planning A New Website - Part 3: Graphic Design vs Web Design

If there’s one thing new clients want to discuss first it is how their new website is going to look, but a great website has to deliver more than just a shiny facade...

Working with an existing brand identity, choosing the right ‘look and feel’ and creating a good first impression are common themes when we first discuss web projects with new clients.  

As it will only take visitors around 50 milliseconds to decide whether they like your website or not, and whether they want to stay or leave, that all important ‘first impression’ HAS to be a good one!  Quite simply, unless the first impression is favourable, visitors will leave your site before they realise that you have more to offer than your competitors.

Using professional graphic designers to create the right look for your site is a common choice. However, not all ‘graphic’ designers are familiar with the intricacies of web design. These specialties aren’t entirely divorced, but there are some important additional skills involved in website design.

Websites are interactive spaces where the visitor controls how and when content is viewed. Content will be added and amended often. A website is NOT like a print brochure. Delivering a great web experience means planning and delivering a clear route through the site and the information it contains. To do this we need additional skills covering ‘information architecture’, ‘user experience’ and establishing ‘points of action’.

That said, great web design still requires a good grasp of traditional graphic design skills. Paul Boag came up with a superb list of the basic areas covered on his Podcast in 2011 which remain as valid today as they were when he wrote the article: 

  • Grid
  • White Space
  • Flow
  • Colour
  • Typography
  • Texture
  • Imagery

A good web designer will strike the right balance between your current brand, a great ‘first impression’ and the superb user experience which guides visitors easily around the site and enables them to complete their chosen task while there.

If you’re considering a new website be sure to bear these important aspects in mind and, if you have any questions, we can help

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