Your company’s website goes way beyond just being a channel to inform your customers of the upcoming end-of-summer sale. It should showcase your products and services in the best way possible and convey your company’s brand. For this brand to be conveyed effectively, however, your website must have a smart, unique and easy-to-navigate-through design. It should also be appealing, informative and engaging.

That is why it is highly important that your business pays attention to web design. Currently, there are around five billion Internet users worldwide. This is a really big audience that makes the competition to stand out in the online space way tougher now than it had ever been. If your website is lacking a good design, it will not get very many visitors. This typically translates to less traffic and a reduced amount of potential sales.

And vice versa.

In this article, we are going to address web design, why it is important to know about it, who web designers are, what they do, and how a good website design is crucial for your business to thrive online.

Web Design

Web design is basically the process of curating a branded website that is attractive, engaging, and user-friendly for your business’s target audience.

Web Designers

It is critical to note that there is a difference between web design and web development. Web development is essentially the next step after an effective design has been signed off. It is basically what goes under the hood of the website. Web developers usually take the design and essentially build your website either through coding or online website-building platforms.

While web developers should ensure that your website is stable, secure and accessible at all times, that it is easy to manage, requires low maintenance and reliably delivers for your business when you invest in digital marketing, web designers, on the other hand, tend to focus more on the actual look of your website.

The Importance of Web Design

A good website should encourage a call to action since the core goal of a business website is to attract new users, turn them into customers, a process known as conversion, and retain existing customers as well.

If you have an e-commerce website, your main call to action could be having people browse and purchase your products. Add to Cart, Proceed to Checkout, and Confirm Payment are all forms of call to action.

There are also calls to action to invite users to other parts of your site. So, on a portfolio or a blog site, calls to action could be Read This Article or Check Out This Post. These are calls to action that lead users to explore your website and eventually invite them to submit an inquiry or a form, etc. A call to action saying Get in Touch encourages users to contact you through phone, email, or form.

So great web designs will give your business another salesperson, and a website should sell 24/7 for your business. If your website is not delivering results, it is probably time to think about updating it. Even minor tweaks to or changes in your website’s current design can make an incredible difference.

That is to say that you should think of developing a compelling website as an investment in your business that contributes to its success because, guess what? It is an investment in your business that surely will contribute to the success of your business.

Web Designers

Web designers are essentially the people who will design the website for you. So, you sit with them and talk to them about how you want the basic design and look of your website to be. They are primarily responsible for the website’s front end or what the users see of it. This includes colours, text, imagery, videos, layouts, navigation and the overall appearance of the website.

And again, that is different from a web developer who is concerned with the website’s backend, which comprises things like coding, security and overall functionality. Web designers and web developers will often collaborate to create this engaging, easily navigated and attractive website. They are not the same, and both have different sets of skills, but they are equally important to the process.

Hiring Web Designers

It is crucial that you understand the importance of good web design when you are thinking about hiring a web designer. You should also know what kind of questions to ask them. Given that the bespoke website they will build for you should portray your brand in the best way possible, web designers genuinely contribute to the success and development of your business.

Therefore, you must not by any means take the process of hiring a web designer lightly. On the contrary, you should view a web designer as your marketing partner. They will play a major role in the success of your company’s online marketing goals and any sales that you want to make. Whether you will have a new website designed from scratch or are going to make some major changes to your existing website, your hiring decision will determine the website’s success.

There are millions of web designers out there, and no matter if you are searching online or locally, it is very easy to feel overwhelmed with having to choose the most suitable designer for your business. If you want to make the right choice, then, it is important that they have a meticulous hiring process.

You should deal with choosing a web designer just like the process of hiring a new employee. Therefore, you should conduct interviews, request portfolios, check references, and review the performance results of previous projects.

Web designers should have a range of work to show you, a portfolio of work. They have to present their previous work with other clients to you, explain why they used the colours and layers they did and how that affected the company. Did their work contribute to getting more clicks on the website? More sales? Did visitors show more engagement on the website? 

You can also ask web designers if they can offer you more services than only creating your new website. Such services may include things like a landing page design, additional features, added technical SEO, on-page SEO, website auditing, etc. In fact, being able to offer extra services means they really hone their skills as web designers.

Web Designer Skills

One thing that can help you hire the best web designer is to ensure that they have the necessary skills that will deliver the kind of design you need for your website. Web designers are really important to the business, and they essentially marry creativity and technology together to create beautiful designs for web pages. That is why there are essential skills that every web designer should have, know about and understand, which guarantee they will produce great work.

That being said, it is not only their technical skills that are important. Web designers should be able to understand collaboration methods and have strong communication skills. Designing for clients means conversing with them to understand their needs and their visions for their sites. If a web designer cannot demonstrate such crucial skills, it would be hard to believe that they actually have the necessary technical skills to create the website you want.

Now, let’s explore some of those necessary skills that can help web designers create the websites their clients want.

1. Understanding Design Principles

One of the main things web designers need to understand is design principles.

Without understanding design principles, it will be difficult to build and create unique and beautiful websites. Learning the fundamental skills of visual design can enhance web designers’ abilities and offer important foundations for web and graphic knowledge.

One of those design principles is emergence, for instance, which helps users focus on the website as a whole rather than honing in on individual parts. It also lets them process the arrangement of visual elements and digest what they mean together using retrofication strips. Understanding emergence helps designers work out what is necessary for a website and what can be laid out for a user that still conveys meaning.

Another important design principle is invariance. Invariance ensures an object stands out in a design. It makes web designers highlight particular parts that they want to encourage users to see.

2. Thinking About User Experience

Another key element website designers should be thinking about is user experience or UX.

User experience, in essence, is how someone responds or reacts to a web design, which is determined by how easy the site is to use. The interactive elements incorporated into the design make it quite dynamic so users can enjoy it and help with good web design. In other words, UX is a really important skill to learn as it helps users navigate through sites in a really enjoyable way.

UX involves creating organised content spaces that are uncluttered and have negative space. That is usually a good starting point for any website. Designing a site with empathy rather than focusing on the technical aspects can also attract users to remain on it.

Understanding what the user needs and providing it in the design is a really important part of the UX. If a site is too cluttered, if there is too much information that is not being broken up properly, or if the navigation is too dense in general, users will click off quickly, and that is something that Google picks up on.

The thing is, Google tracks how long a user’s session is. That means how long they stay on your website, from the moment they click on it to the moment they click off. The longer the session is, the better it is for your website because it allows Google to know that the UX of this website, as well as the content, are engaging and making the website easy to use.

Consequently, your website will rank in search engines.

3. Thinking About User Interface

There is also something called UI, which stands for User Interface. While UX focuses on the user, UI is specifically for the site.

The user interface holds things like dropdown menus, web pages, toggles, boxes, buttons, etc. It primarily includes all the visual elements that let users navigate through a website and interact with it without there being any obstructions.

Typography, for instance, is one of the most vital elements of designing the user interface. It revolves around choosing and organising text in a visually pleasing way that communicates real value to the user.

4. Using Different Software

Another essential skill that web designers need to hone is having a wide range of software knowledge.

Using different types of design software can make every web designer’s life easier, for it allows them to design websites faster and much easier. Besides, it gives room for creativity and enjoyment of what they are doing. Here are some design software web designers should be able to use.


Understanding basic photo editing is significant, given that the majority of web designers work with vector-based graphics. So they need to know as many Adobe programs as they can, surely beginning with Photoshop and Illustrator as well as Lightroom and Indesign.

Photoshop, for example, can help web designers create and edit really beautiful images easily, which they can use on websites and consequently make them more engaging and meaningful to the user.


When it comes to actually creating a web design, a really popular program to use is Figma.

Figma is a prominent web design tool that helps designers create anything for websites and mobile applications too. In fact, a lot of web designers already use Figma to design a website in full, share the design with customers and see exactly what their sites will look like once they are in development. Figma is a collaborative tool, which means that all members of the design team can join a project and collaborate with one another to deliver it. 

Web designers can use the free plan offered by Figma, called Starter, which gives them some features to begin with. Then there are three paid plans, Figma Professional, Figma Organisation and Enterprise, costing $12, $45 and $75 per month, respectively and offering a wide range of features.


Another really popular web design tool is Webflow.

Webflow is almost like a visual way to code. It is essentially a built-in publishing and hosting platform, which means web designers can go from zero to a published website in a fraction of time compared to the ton of time it would take if the website is coded by hand. Once they have built their visually designed website, all it takes is to hit Publish, and the website will go live.

This is highly significant for web designers in several ways. One of them, for instance, is that it creates a bridge between visual design and coding.

Normally, web designers would create mockups or prototypes in a visual tool like Adobe Photoshop. Then, they would send them off to web developers to code them. As developers have to go through an extra iteration of coding, they may return to designers when something does not work out or if something needs to be changed. So, this creates a back-and-forth round between designers and developers.

This is precisely where Webflow comes in handy. As it is an in-browser, all-in-one design platform, Webflow gives web designers the ability to design and launch responsive websites visually without having to bother with coding. Webflow generates the code for them and even removes the extra block of coding that is needed whenever they use traditional web design tools, such as Photoshop or Figma. 

What is different about Webflow, however, from Figma is that their visual editors are powered by HTML, CSS and JavaScript. So, the design and code are not separated, and designers can reuse the CSS classes for any elements that should have the same styling or as a starting point for variation.

Webflow does offer a free Starter plan with some limited features but the paid plans have a wider range of them. The Basic plan at $14 a month allows designers to connect a custom domain and host their HTML site. Then there is the CMS plan for $23 a month, the Business plan for $39 a month and the Enterprise plan that offers custom enterprise-size features whose cost is calculated accordingly.

That being said, there might be a learning curve to Webflow. However, once designers have the basic design, it becomes very easy to start building out their sites. And essentially So, that is just another tool that web designers can use as well.

5. Learning Graphic Design

The knowledge of graphic design is crucial for any web designer who aspires to be successful. 

Graphic design is essentially creating visuals with longevity. So, designing branding for websites, such as corporate logos or vector-based graphics that are essentially unique, can add a lot of interactions with users. It is something that users can engage with and admire.

Creating custom illustrations, graphics, and hand-drawn typography are some ways through which designers can grow their graphic design skills and become truly accomplished web designers as well.

6. Understanding Colour Theory

As well as graphic design, web designers must understand colour theory.

Colour theory is another way for web designers to establish a company’s brand identity. It, together with colour schemes, plays an important role in every project, from printing promotional flyers, creating the brand logo, establishing brand identity, etc.

By using different colours, web designers are able to convey different emotions, drive conversions and also earn loyalty for customers. Admittedly, choosing the correct colour scheme and putting them in the correct places can be somewhat of a difficult task while designing a website, yet it is quite indispensable.

That is why web designers need to understand some basic concepts about colours, such as the colour wheel, if they really want to convey brands’ identities correctly.

Colour Wheel

The easiest way to pick out colour schemes that work together and operate well on websites is by utilising the colour wheel.

The colour wheel consists of twelve colours, divided into primary, secondary and tertiary colours. The primary colours make the basis of the colour wheel and they comprise red, yellow and blue. They are naturally fine colours that cannot be created by mixing other colours.

Secondary colours in the colour wheel are generated by mixing two primary colours. For example, mixing blue and red generates purple. Yellow and red produce orange, and blue and yellow make up green. Purple, orange and green are secondary colours.

Then we have the tertiary colours. These are created by mixing different primary and secondary colours, and that is why they are located between the primary and the secondary colours on the colour wheel.

In total, there are six tertiary colours. Red and orange create vermilion, and red and purple create magenta. You can get violet by mixing blue and purple, teal by mixing blue and green, chartreuse if you combine green and yellow and finally amber from yellow and orange.

The next step after understanding the colour wheel and all the deals with primary, secondary and tertiary colours is to learn how to create harmony with them.

Colour Harmony

Colour harmony is defined as the pleasing quality that certain distinct colour combinations produce. In other words, colour harmony is created when the colours that work well together and complement each other are combined.

There are six different techniques that can be used to pick out harmonious colours. One of them, for instance, is complementary colours. These are every two colours that are opposite of one another on the colour wheel. For example, yellow and purple would be considered complementary as they oppose each other on the colour wheel. Likewise, green and red are also complementary colours.

Then, we have split complementary colours, a technique that is a variation of complementary colours. Instead of two, split complementary is a combination of three colours. It is made of one colour and the two colours on either side of its complementary colour. 

For instance, chartreuse and magenta are one complementary colour. A Split contemporary colour scheme is either chartreuse, red and purple or magenta, green and yellow.

After that, there is the triad technique, which is made up of three colours that are equally separated from each other on the colour wheel. Green, yellow and orange are a triad as there is one colour between each two of them.

Next are the analogous colours. These are essentially three colours directly next to each other on the colour wheel. So violet, purple and magenta are analogous. Also, orange, amber and yellow are analogous colours, and they can work well together.

After that, we have the tetrad, which is made by drawing a rectangle connecting two sets of complementary colours to equal four colours in total. So again, complementary colours are two colours that are opposite on the colour wheel, so two sets of them will essentially make a rectangle. For example, yellow and purple make one set, and then you can also have teal and vermilion as another set. The two sets together make a tetrad.

The last technique to create a harmonical colour scheme is the square. So, these are four colours that are all equally spaced out from each other on the colour wheel. So something like green, violet, red and amber. Remember that a triad combines three, not four, equally spaced colours.

Colour Meanings

Why colour theory is important has to do with psychology.

As it turns out, each colour can be used to convey a different meaning and provoke a different emotion. While some of this can be subjective and change from one person to another, there are some common colour portrayals and examples that almost have the same effect on most, if not all, people.

So, for example, white can signal purity and cleanliness. If you think about the Apple website, they use a lot of white, almost as negative space on their website, but the design is very minimal, very clean and organised as well. Also, you have got Audi. Their base colour is also white, which makes for a very clean and professionally-looking design.

Another colour that has a strong meaning is red. Red symbolises things like passion, courage, life, health, energy, etc. Coca-Cola, for example, is as iconic for using the red colour as it is as a leading beverage company. Red is used a lot on their website especially, which signals a lot of passion, excitement and energy, and that is precisely what they market in their campaigns.

Purple is another colour that has multiple strong meanings, including luxury, royalty and decadence. Cadbury is one of the first purple-themed brands that come to mind. They use a lot of purple, not only on their website but within their packaging, branding and flyers to convey that their chocolate is a very luxurious and decadent product.

Colour Categories

Balancing colours on the website is essential. Knowing which colours can promote the identity of the company is a really huge part of choosing the right colour scheme, a job web designers should be able to do efficiently. To do that, they must understand the categories of the colours.

Colours can be broken down into three main categories: main colours, pop colours and neutral colours.

When it comes to the main colour, this is what will be used for around 75% of the website design. The main colour is used on every page of the website for content, headers, general information and also as a background colour sometimes. It is the primary colour for the website’s canvas as well.

Secondly, there are what designers define as pop colours, which are mainly used sparingly throughout the website. Pop colours are used to highlight important information, the most popular of which is for sure calls to action. Whether this information is found on the headers, footers, buttons, navigation bars or anywhere on any page of the website, it must be written in pop colours. Users instinctively will click on those for more information.

Using pop colours wisely and correctly will encourage users to explore the website, stay on it for long and ultimately take the actions the designers and website owners want them to take, whether this is to get in touch, make a booking, add to cart, make a purchase, etc.

The third category includes the neutral colours. Neutral colours are also used sparingly, but more often than pop colours and typically for backgrounds, negative or empty space and within the content. They are another way to separate out the content, by the way, balance all the colours on the screen and make it easy for users to navigate.

All of that kind of falls into user experience, and web designers will help you, as a website owner, to choose the correct colour scheme and to communicate your business’s identity.

You need to take into account all the information that we have just talked about. As you are conversing with the web designer, you should be able to explain to them the type of emotion you want your website to convey, for instance, which main colour you want to associate with your business and which of the primary, secondary and tertiary colours you think will best express that and they will guide you through the way.

For example, if you own a yoga studio that focuses on mental wellness and strength, designers may opt to go for a slightly green colourway because that might be a perfect starter colour to look at. Green can bring feelings of nature, well-being, and energy and can be perfect for inspiring customers to try out yoga.

A good web designer will also decide on how many colours would be good to work with, basically using the colour harmony techniques to narrow it down from there. Then, based on the main colour you chose, you and your designer can use different colour techniques to choose the best colours that go along with the main colour.

That said, junior web designers who are still stepping into the world of colours and making their way in understanding colour theory must stick to keeping their colour scheme simple and surely incorporate it into the website’s branding.

7. Understanding Responsive Design 

Last but not least, we have responsive design.

Responsive design is one of the most important skills that a web designer should know to ensure the design they are creating will be functional. Testing responsive design is especially crucial as more and more people now are accessing websites mainly through mobile phones rather than their laptops. So they, the web designers, must ensure their websites are not just accessible but also responsive and looking neat and organised to encourage users to stay longer on them.

Generally, responsive design focuses on the technical aspects of a website that ensures that CSS, JavaScript or HTML work seamlessly. It adds to the user experience in spaces like text, buttons or even menus. By honing this skill, designers will guarantee their websites deliver consistent content across any device and translate to different devices without there being issues with the design.

Inspect Element

One way web designers can test and see what a website will look like on mobile without actually having the device is by using the Inspect Element tool. All there is to do is right-click on any page of the website, choose Inspect and a code page will open, taking the right half of the page.

On the bar at the top, there is a dropdown menu with multiple devices, such as iPhone XR and Galaxy Fold, that offer seeing the layout of the website on each of them. Such a feature allows web designers to ensure that everything looks OK and easy to navigate through and what and where changes can be made to be so.

For instance, in mobile design, everything usually tends to stack, somewhat going on top of each other instead of side to side. So, the Inspect Element tool helps web designers make sure every page of the website continues to look like that.


Another yet more accurate way to test the responsiveness of websites is using a tool called BrowserStack. BrowserStack is a website and mobile testing platform that allows both web designers and developers to test their websites on different mobile applications but also across different browsers, operating systems, as well as real mobile devices.

BrowserStack helps designers test their websites’ responsiveness on over 2,500 real devices and browsers. So they can thoroughly test how functional their designs are and check whether or not there are any issues with them so they can fix them. BrowserStack is a paid platform and does not offer a free trial. Yet, it is a valuable investment that is worth considering.

Hiring a web design professional to design your company’s website is a crucial process as it directly affects your business and, when done right, can improve it in so many ways. This can be in the form of showcasing your products or services in the best possible way, attracting new customers, increasing sales or developing an online community.

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