On the subject of

There is more to web design – part 1

by Hector Hurtado

… than just using Frontpage, iWeb, or even Dreamweaver. Even more than learning some HTML in one day and put up a site in about the same time. With today’s trend of having a web presence being more popular than having a business card, I fail to understand why some people think that a do-it-yourself solution will suffice.

Part 1. Beyond the tools

In web design, there is design, and this word encompasses a know-how that no application provides. Software does not tell you what domain to register, what letters have strong or weak connotation, what typography to choose. Nor does it tell you about color theory and color matching. Software does not know about your target audience, your cultural background, or the message you want to transmit. When drafting your layout, same software does not tell you whether you should go for dark text on a clear background or the opposite. What color should you choose for your background? Should you frame your windows with square or round borders? Do you even need windows, sections, and headlines at all? Will your web page be readable? Will you be easily found by search engines? And how about usability? Is this all getting confusing?

When you decide to build a house, you do not buy CAD software, you hire an architect. You take this obvious decision because you know that house building is an art and a science, and you would not waste your hard earned money on something that would not resist the first rain. Same goes for web design. The fancy aspect of the profession and the plethora of software available tends to indicate that anyone could build a web, and while this is partially true, building a solid web presence worth your reputation is a project that should not be overlooked.