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designWeb design is the branch of graphic design in charge of planning, developing and modifying Internet sites. This service is vital for a Web site to have an appropriate presentation. However, this design work is not the same as other services you may hire: in this case, your active participation is essential. The designer works converting ideas, concepts, abstract things into graphic objects, material stuff and the only person in charge of providing these ideas are you. Without the concepts you wish to be present on your site, the designer will not be able to carry out an appropriate job: your contribution and opinion are required on whether the graphic objects created and combined respond appropriately to what you had in mind or, if not, why they do not. This is not an unnecessary explanation: it is very common for customers to try to avoid this type of work and leave it all on the designer’s hands, just saying whether they like or not what he is doing. Although it is true that this participation does not take long, it is necessary for the customer to pay the attention required for the work to be appropriately developed.

Web design is an activity combining the use of design software, conceptual knowledge and specific work techniques. The combination of these things results in an aesthetically pleasant, efficient, advertisingly attractive, and easy-to-browse Web site. The way the graphic objects of the Web site are handled makes it special and allows it to be distinguished from other Web sites. However, the best way of talking about Web design is describing the essential features of its work object, the Web site.

Presence on the market:

Internet is the medium most used when searching for companies, products and services, so being well placed and shown will be very useful. However, you could say that being well placed on the Internet does not guarantee a higher presence on the market where you move. But this will be the same as saying “the entire world uses Internet first to search for a company but people belonging to my target group are the exception”. That is to say, this is a quite silly statement. Even in the most extreme cases, this is not true. Let’s suppose that somebody argues that his target group does not use Internet, as could be the case for young children or old people. Firstly, we must say that the argument is not definite, since a significant percentage of old people and mostly children do use Internet. Secondly, it is true that both target groups have their freedom of choice restricted: both children and old people are subject to adults’ choices (parents or children, respectively). Therefore, we can state that improving your image and place on the Internet directly affects the market your company wants to conquer.

Virtual office:

before industrialization and globalization, communities used to have a company or factory known by everybody, working as its key center. Everybody belonging to that community used to recognize the company building and they knew their workers and owners. They used to have a daily contact. But given the advancement of economical, social, political and cultural processes, the communities began to break up or had an unlimited extension; companies, in turn, stopped being located on only one geographic region to place their buildings so as to operate commercially. This process resulted in the abstraction of the company; companies became a concept, an idea on consumers’ minds. They also were that previously, but there was a highly important element at hand, the corporate building, as a reference point to think about this concept. Today, the companies are, if they are lucky, a name that sounds familiar when heard, people do not know them and they cannot think about them. Of course, if something cannot be thought about, let alone contacting it. Web pages have arisen to solve this problem. The corporate site works as the actual reference point for the public to contact a company. There is nothing better than customer care virtual offices for an abstraction.

And this is not all. Previously, small companies had to settle for a much more humble and much less amazing building than big corporations, since they did not have the money to afford them. Once the reference point was changed, the company actual introduction is not made with bricks but bits. That is to say, a small company can afford the cost of a Web site as good as the one for the most successful company worldwide. This feature is not inconsiderable and opens an unforeseen range of possibilities for small and middle-size businessmen.

Interactivity:

any design object conveys a message and all of them, except for a Web site, do it in one direction. That is to say, any design conveys a message from the company to the public and only in that direction. When getting a three-page leaflet from a company, you look at it and get the message the company wanted to convey. On the contrary, this is not the case for a Web site: it is true that the message the company wants to send is received by the public, but, besides, the site own settings allow for that message reply. The public's answer will be received by the company and it will, in turn, reply it. The interaction between the parties is thus established. This type of interaction allowing the public to send its concerns, comments, questions, etc. will be called user-company interaction. All the information gathered through this dialogue will be very useful for a potential marketing campaign, since it provides a detailed report of concerns, wishes, inconveniences, etc. from the people belonging to your target group.

But there is still another type of interaction. If the previous one was called user-company interaction because the user gets in contact with a person representing the company, the interaction where user does get in contact with a human being could be perfectly called user-site interaction. The settings of a Web site as a design element allow the visitor to choose what information he wants to get familiar with and what information he does not. No other design element allows the recipient to take care of it and get involved in it to get what he wants. All the other designs “spit” the information on the recipient, not allowing him to choose what he wants to know and, besides, the information shown by each design will be limited (it will be information about a promotion, a campaign, etc..). The Web site gathers all the possible information about the company and allows the user to search only for the data he is interested in. If you wish to get familiar with the company’s history but not see its products, you will be able to do it, as well as if you wish to do the opposite thing or any other thing. This chance makes the person visiting the site feel willing to do so because he does not get information he does not want to receive.


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