Web design is more than coding and inputting content from a writer; it is an art form. "Design" itself means to create, or plan out in accordance with a goal or purpose. So when creating a website, designers are formulating the best way to fashion the site so that the goal – having visitors – is reached successfully. Just because you build it does not mean they will come, and this is where having a talented designer who knows what elements are essential to your site's success is critical.
Color – Almost all of us are aware of the color of a website when we visit it. Subconsciously or not, we will make the decision to stay longer on the site or click away immediately based on large part on color alone. The reason for this is psychological; there are entire fields of study devoted to color theory. Typically, site visitors prefer calming colors such as those from the blue family. Also, when reading a page of text, visitors prefer black text on a light background.
Texture – This is often an element that sets apart amateur websites from professionally-looking ones, even if they are not designed by a professional. Texture reflects to the feeling of the page. Even on a website, you can create texture with patterns, special use of fonts, and even a creative use of placement on the page. For instance, overlapping two boxes of text gives the page some depth.
Direction – The way a page flows is its direction. Visitors to a website do not realize how much thought was probably put into the site they are browsing. However, there is a reason their eyes move they way they do, from the site's navigation to its advertising, to its content. Strategic placement of a website's material helps "direct" the consumers' eyes where the site owner wants the attention given.
If you have never thought much about web design, you may now see that art is as equally important as computer science when creating a website. Designing principles are pretty standard, whether designing websites, consumer packaging, or literature for publication. Knowing the critical elements of the design will help when you sit down to plan your next website.