Web Design Essentials For Programmers

Modern Web Design from Skillshare is an online course you can complete at your own pace, requiring basic understanding of HTML and CSS as well as paying the monthly subscription fee to enroll.

This course provides everything you need to know about the front end of a website, including how HTML, JavaScript and CSS combine to display content on its front end.


HTML is the cornerstone of web pages and it is essential for web designers and developers to comprehend its basics. HTML serves several functions on a webpage including text representation, visual format definition and providing search engines with page context information. Furthermore, it designs individual webpage structures.

HTML was invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1991 as a textual markup language, using tags to denote structural semantics for content such as headers, paragraphs, links, lists and tables. Each tag comprises an opening tag followed by one or more characters or strings of characters followed by closing tags; some tags may also have attributes providing extra details regarding their contents if necessary.

Title> is used to set browser page titles displayed on tabs and window titles while meta> defines website metadata. HTML tags can also be used to specify elements on pages such as headlines (h1), paragraphs (p), or unordered lists (li).

HTML not only creates the framework of webpages, but it also enables certain features such as images, videos and spreadsheets to be embedded directly onto them. Web designers utilize HTML when building forms for collecting user input such as email addresses or names or for embedding external plugins like reservations systems and search forms into pages.

HTML also makes it possible to establish the relationships among various elements on a webpage by creating a hierarchy using a> and > tags. Once established, HTML can then apply CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) styles to each element, making its content visually more appealing.

An understanding of HTML allows web designers and developers to communicate their design ideas and requirements more clearly with front-end developers, who in turn will interpret the structure of a webpage and add interactive elements needed. They may also use it as a way of diagnosing problems such as missing tags or incorrect nesting – saving both time and ensuring the end product is accessible for end users.

2. CSS

CSS is one of the most valuable languages for web designers and developers to learn, as it makes websites both visually pleasing and user-friendly, while adapting to various screen sizes. CSS separates design from structure for easier maintenance updates as well as speedy website launches.

CSS gives website content its color, fonts and layout – something without which websites would simply be plain text on a white background. CSS programming language gives websites their distinctive colors, fonts and layouts; therefore it is an integral component for any developer working on sites. Furthermore, this programming language adapts websites to fit various screen sizes which is becoming increasingly important as more people access websites on mobile devices.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is the code that formats web pages. This code exists separate from HTML which defines its basic structure; each has their own purpose in helping build an online site.

HTML serves to outline the structure of a web document and is responsible for elements like headlines, paragraphs and images. CSS then steps in and lays out how these elements will appear on a page – this process consists of selectors, properties and values which each have their own purpose – p> could indicate that this rule only applies to this element, while font family could be an attribute while orange could serve as its value.

Learning CSS offers many advantages, with its primary ones being easy learning and use, more formatting options than HTML alone, easier maintenance updates of websites, compatibility across most browsers and device types, as well as potential responsiveness improvements.

Understanding HTML and CSS are crucial skills for any aspiring web designer or developer, so taking time to become acquainted with them will only benefit your projects. By expanding your knowledge, the sooner you’ll be creating stunning sites that will impress clients and customers alike!

3. Design Elements

Design elements are components of visual designs that can be assembled to form visually appealing compositions, such as lines, shapes, textures, and color. Finding an effective balance between aesthetics and functionality in your work is the cornerstone of great design; having the ideal blend will set apart your website from all others.

Lines are one of the basic design elements, used to trace out an object’s outline. Lines can be smooth or rough and continuous or broken; additionally they may convey subliminal messages about your design that can affect how viewers react – for instance a straight line may convey feelings of order and cleanliness while wavy ones could connote motion and energy.

Mistakenly, novice designers tend to prioritize aesthetics over functionality when creating websites, often at the expense of functionality. A website without information or tools for its visitors will most likely cause them to bounce quickly from its page – this is why web designers must possess a keen understanding of user research and information architecture so as to provide optimal customer journey experiences.

Shapes are essential design elements, helping set a theme and setting an overall atmosphere in your design. Squares and rectangles work well to separate sections of text or content on websites while circles and triangles work great as buttons or icons to guide users towards specific sections of a site. Organic or geometric, shapes can combine with other design elements like texture and color to form unique looks that set their designs apart.

Texture can add depth and dimension to your designs by creating depth of field. Textures can range from smooth or rough surfaces, continuous to broken patterns, thick or thin pieces or even simulate real world textures to simulate something real world feels. Textures also serve as great way to add contrast or draw attention to certain parts of your design.

Color can evoke various emotions and set the scene for your work, making it one of the key design elements. Learning color theory will enable you to design websites without straining on the eyes, with cohesive looks. Understanding primary color wheel and complementarity relationships among colours will allow you to select appropriate hues for web designs.

4. Usability

Website usability is one of the key concepts for web designers and developers to grasp, as it ensures user satisfaction on every element of a design process. Usability includes features such as accessibility, readability, navigation and user interaction – features which increase customer satisfaction while simultaneously increasing business results.

When creating a website, its key priority should be easy navigation and accessible content. If it becomes challenging to locate information, users will become frustrated and abandon their search altogether. Visitors will use various devices when accessing your site so ensure the font size is large enough for easy reading on multiple screens. It is also crucial that there is an identifiable branding strategy across your entire website including logo, color scheme and lettering that remain consistent across every page; some companies even implement content style guides to maintain consistency across pages and posts.

User studies are an invaluable way of testing website usability. To conduct one, recruit representatives of your target audience and have them perform tasks on your site while keeping careful notes of all their steps – this will give you a solid sense of what works well and where improvements may be necessary.

An effective way to test website usability without conducting an exhaustive user study is running a website review. This free service enables you to see how easy it is for visitors to navigate your site and complete representative tasks; then provides an analysis on its performance with comprehensive results for comparison against any competing websites.

Building a website with high usability is integral to creating a successful online presence for any company. By following these tips, a high usability website will draw in more traffic and enhance conversions.

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