Web design is the process of creating websites that are displayed on the Internet. It focuses on the user experience aspects of website development, such as design, user interface, and other visual elements, to make the website more visually appealing and easy to use. To create a successful design, web designers must consider their audience, the purpose of the website, and the visual appeal of the design. Web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites, including graphic web design, user interface design, creation of standardized code and proprietary software, user experience design (UX design), and search engine optimization. The term web design is commonly used to describe the design process related to the front-end (client side) of a website, including writing markup.
Web design partially overlaps with web engineering in the broader realm of web development. Web designers are expected to be aware of usability and to be up to date with web accessibility guidelines. HTML markup for tables was originally designed to display tabular data, but designers quickly realized the potential of using HTML tables to create complex multi-column designs that wouldn't otherwise be possible. At this time, since design and good aesthetics seemed to take precedence over a good marker structure, little attention was paid to semantics and web accessibility. HTML sites had limited design options, even more so with previous versions of HTML.
The user's understanding of content on a website often depends on their understanding of how the website works; this is part of user experience design. The user experience is related to the design, clear instructions and labeling on a website. How a user interacts with a site can also depend on interactive design; if a user perceives the usefulness of a website they are more likely to continue using it. Users who are experienced in using websites may find an intricate interface useful but less intuitive or less user-friendly than one that is simpler; however less experienced users may find an intricate interface difficult or confusing. This drives the trend towards creating universal user experiences that accommodate as many users as possible regardless of skill level. Much of user interface design is affected by quality page design; for example, a designer may consider whether page width should remain consistent across different pages when designing the layout.
Progressive improvement is a strategy in web design that focuses first on basic content allowing everyone access to basic content and functionality before adding more advanced features.