Web design is the branch of graphic design consisting in the planning, creation, and maintenance of a website. As any other branch of design, it deals with the transformation of ideas into objects, concepts into symbols, clients' proposals into graphic objects. So the client cannot just release himself from the process of designing; in fact, he should be an active participant -which does not mean that he has to do all the work by himself. However, he does have to express his ideas as clearly as possible, and be at the designer's disposal (in a logical way, of course, as the client also has his own duties). In short, it is the client that has to accept or reject the designer's suggestions, propose new things, etc.

Having a website is essential to any company both in commercial and advertising terms. Besides, it allows a fluid relationship with the public. Now, for you to be able to look at it in its right perspective, we will show you the three basic characteristics of websites. Our goal is that you understand what a standard website is so that you can plan out yours. We do not want to limit you at all, but to help you exploit your abilities.

Presence in the market: when somebody is trying to get some information about a company, or its products and services, he looks it up first on the Internet -that is for sure. Everybody, to a greater or lesser extent, makes use of the Internet. As a consequence, being on the Web will ensure you many people interested in your products. But this is not only about advertising, but also about prestige. Take TV commercials, for instance -we know that the only requirement to be on TV is money. However, people tend to think that when a website is well positioned, say, on Google, this is because there is some prestigious company behind it, or because it has a fine design, or because it is secure enough. Sorry to disappoint you, but good positioning has nothing to do with none of these matters. Of course, an attractive, well-advertised, finely-designed website is bound to be successful. But, however good it is, how could it be a success if nobody sees it? Well, the search engines are responsible for approximately 85% of the visits a Web page receives. So, unlike what it is usually thought, good positioning is the result of SEO (Search Engine Optimizing) campaigns. These campaigns, however, can take time, and are not always a guarantee of success.

Interaction:

this is what makes a website unique. Any other design element just transmits a corporate message from a company to the public, but the website, apart from this, also allows interaction. Let's see how it works.

First, there is the user-company interaction. The company sends a message through its Web design, but, unlike the other elements of design, the website allows the user to reply, either to ask a question or to make a comment. Then the person in charge of the website gets in contact with this user; thus, there is interaction between the company and the public, there is interchange of information. All the data compiled in this way will be of great help for a future marketing campaign, as it will permit an in-depth analysis of the target public.

Then, there is the user-website interaction, where the user is the only human participant interacting with the Web page itself. Now, when someone is handed out a flyer, for instance, he just receives the information in the flyer. A website, on the other hand, allows the user to decide what he is and what he is not interested in. This is exactly what he loves: no information is imposed on him, but it is he himself who chooses what he wants to know.

Virtual office:

for a company to exist (i.e. sell its products), it is necessary that it is engraved on the consumers' minds. As time went by, companies gradually became concepts, abstractions. Industrialization, the dissolution of communities, globalization, people's ignorance of where each company's building is located, and the large number of business firms existing nowadays -all of these are to blame for this current consideration that companies are abstract concepts rather than material things. Then, a company will not sell its products unless it is on the consumers' minds, unless they can "think of it". But, what does it take to think of something? The brain needs some help. Well, the corporate logo and the website will help people remember a company. The logo by remaining in their memory, and the website by being some kind of physical place where they can ask questions, make suggestions, complain about something, buying products, etc. So the website is the new reference point, that "material thing" which represents a company in people's thoughts. It is the Digital Era's customer service virtual office.


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