Our goal is to be the best resource for digital marketing concepts (such as web design and usability). Let us know if we can improve this guide in your comments at the bottom of the page. Just like Google, we are always looking to evolve and adapt as the digital world becomes more user-friendly and intuitive.

We all know that looks matter. 

Visual design plays a huge role in our decision-making process when purchasing a product or a service. Different people have different preferences when it comes to colors, shapes, and even font sizes.

This is true whether they are choosing a box of cereal at the supermarket or browsing through the ocean of websites online.

We have all been there from a perspective of a buyer: we pick something that “works” better for us. 

However, if you are reading this guide, it’s likely that you are interested in the other side of that process. What makes people choose your product or website over the competition? What helps them purchase your products with confidence?

Let’s find out.

What is the Difference Between Web Design and UX (User Experience) Design?

You might be a bit confused at this point.

After all, design is design, right? Isn’t web design just making sure that your website looks pretty? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, design is making things look pretty, but it is also much more.

You might be surprised to know that website design has a huge impact on your search engine rankings. Web Design is a part of the four main digital marketing principles found in all websites that rank high on Google. Together, they create what we call a healthy digital ecosystem. 

If you need a fresh perspective on your website design, you can apply for a free website design and usability session with one of our digital marketing experts.

You can also download our free website design and usability guide.

Web Design / User Interface Design (How Things Look)

To put it in simple terms, web design is almost all about looks. 

It is how things look and how they feel on the outside. Web design encompasses colors, shapes, font types, and sizes. It makes the things we use and see beautiful. It defines micro-interactions and dresses our content in pretty clothes to limit the gap between the user and the interface.

Web design is the logo painted on the plane you are about to fly. It’s the outfits of the flight attendants, and it’s the color scheme on the seat you are about to sit on.

Photo by Taras Shypka on Unsplash

Usability and User Experience Design

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash
Even the most beautiful website would just be eye candy if not for its usability. 

When a user interacts with your content, they follow certain thought processes. These processes are studied and analyzed in user testing labs to create a great experience that comes along with amazing looks.

The role of User Experience design is to use these processes to your advantage. Scenarios can be different depending on your business, but the most important thing to do for usability and UX is to go with the way your visitors think and minimize the obstacles leading up to that goal.

UX Design is the way the airplane seat is adapted to the needs of its user. The button to recline your seat has been placed there for a reason, just like your reading lights or mini tv screens are there to entertain you during a stressful (and sometimes lengthy) flight.

Web Design as a Language 

You would be surprised by how important certain elements of web design are. 

Design matters - every decision you make can have a huge impact on the end-user. 

This means that it is crucial to have a great-looking website, not only for yourself, but for your customer base as well.

Web design has rules. Colors matter, shapes lead the eye, and rounded edges influence perception.

Web Design & User Experience Guide

  1. Colors

    Every color has its own unique meaning. Think of traffic lights and how each light color makes you think. It’s easy, right? Red means stop, yellow means alert or danger, and green means go. Whether you use red or green matters. This is a simple example, but colors connect with different feelings. Here is a quick look at a few examples:

    Red: Power, energy, passion, desire, speed, strength, power, heat, love, aggression, danger, fire, blood, war, violence, intensity, celebration, luck, stop or danger; Christmas and Valentine’s Day

    Blue: Peace, harmony, unity, trust, truth, security, confidence, conservatism, order, sky, water, cold, technology, cleanliness, depression, loyalty, immortality, stability, masculinity and protection

    White: Earth, hearth, home, outdoors, reliability, comfort, endurance, stability, simplicity, comfort, trees, nature and autumn

    Read more about the colors here.

  1. Space

    Empty space is a shape of its own. A button placed in a busy area next to coupons, promos, and other ads will become invisible. That same button surrounded by empty space will call much more attention.

User Experience (UX) and Usability 

Your business is online and you have done everything to bring visitors to your website. 

You have spent money on paid advertising or worked with your digital agency to get your business on the first page of Google. All of these are great efforts to capitalize on your online presence.

So -- what’s next?

People visit websites because they are looking for something. If they land on your site, it probably means that you can offer it to them. Now, all you have to do is remove all obstacles and lead them to their goal. This is where UX and Usability jump in.

Despite its name being similar to Web Design, User Experience Design is more about engineering than it is about looks. This is where design processes make it as easy as possible for your customers to commit to your offers.

Web Design & User Experience Guide

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