Clarifying Popular Misconceptions about Website Design
The internet is rife with plenty of misinformation, myths and downright false information. This is why one of the first things often taught is that not everything you read on the internet can or should be believed. In much the same line of thinking or doing, there are plenty of misconceptions about website-building that are downright wrong.
Read on to learn about popular misconceptions about web design and the facts behind them:
MISCONCEPTION: Above the Fold Is a Non-negotiable for Key Content
FACT: As the term alone may suggest, this tidbit gets its origin from print design. Newspapers have a physical fold, typically at the halfway mark. In this way, only the top half can be seen post-fold. It's much the same when newsstands and newsagents sell papers. This is why the top half before "The Fold" is key for design since that's how to draw the attention of possible consumers.
The notion carried over with print designers who moved online by the late 1990s and early 2000s. Since the internet was initially viewed through mostly a 15- or 17-inch computer screen, the idea remained.
With the advancement of technology, there are now many screens and multiple resolutions available. Mobile phones, laptops, tablets and even "smart TVs" (televisions)—all these can display websites. Different parts of pages now show up depending on the screen size and device it's being viewed from.
MISCONCEPTION: The Website Has to Look the Same on All Browsers
FACT: This one actually has elements of feeling silly to it. In truth, this is essentially impossible to do, not to mention highly impractical. There are various layout and rendering engines for every browser that's out there. Obviously, since they vary, their output will vary considerably as well. They can range from something subtle like a line break on Firefox that won't show up on Chrome to something more formidable and tough to ignore.
Key differences usually manifest when a website has code techniques that some browsers don't support. 'Flexbox', a new CSS technique, is all good with modern browsers, but the likes of Internet Explorer 9 can't handle it.
MISCONCEPTION: Web Design Only Focuses on the Aesthetics of a Website
FACT: Likely stemming from the word design itself, many people are under the impression that web design essentially means making the website look good. It's all about fonts, colours and the like. That's only partially true, because while colours and fonts are indeed at play, web design can actually help or hinder businesses from achieving their goals. This is especially true for eCommerce websites, as customer relations and sales improvement rely partially on web design as well.
Brand awareness and lead conversions also get a key boost from web design done right. User experience (UX) is everything.
You cannot believe everything you read or hear about web design these days since many misconceptions exist. These include the likes of web design being about aesthetics only (it's not), websites having to look the same no matter the browser (they don't) and content needing to be above "The Fold" (not true). Web design plays a key role in whether or not a website succeeds, especially for eCommerce.
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