5 Website Design Terms You Should Know

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  • 38% of people will stop viewing a website if the content or layout is unattractive (Blue Corona)
  • 48% of people cited that a website’s design is the No. 1 factor in determining the credibility of a business (Blue Corona)
  • Increasing your website loading speed can prevent the loss of 7% of possible conversions (Infront webworks)

Website design has never felt more confusing than ever. It is riddled with acronyms, apps, and things that a layperson would struggle grasping without a helping hand. Don’t let a lack of knowledge prevent you from moving forward with your plans! Thankfully, there are many places you can get the help you need if you have been trying to build the best website possible for your business. At its core, website design can be understood much easier if you have a grasp of these five terms.

what is website design?

1. Responsive Design

If you’ve had any interest in websites over the past few years, chances are you’ve heard this phrase a few times. Responsive design is a hot button topic given how people’s viewing experience has drastically shifted over the past few years. 

People are no longer spending countless hours in front of a computer monitor in order to consume digital content. Phones, tablets, and other mobile devices have made it easier than ever to access the content you want from anywhere. This is where responsive design comes into play.

Responsive design means building your website to function at the same level across a wide variety of devices. Each type of device interacts with webpages differently, and if your website isn’t built for people to access it from a phone or tablet, then the people that are visiting from those devices will miss out on the experience you have carefully crafted for them. 

As of 2019, 52.6 percent of all internet traffic is done via mobile devices. This trend has been growing every single year since the introduction of smart devices to the marketplace and it is only going to continue to grow. Don’t let your website be trapped in the past by an unresponsive design, or else you could be missing out on a wide range of potential customers.

where can I get help for website design?

2. Visual Hierarchy

This phrase is not exclusive to web design but plays a large role in any form of design. Visual hierarchy is essentially the arrangement of design elements on the page so that the most important aspects are emphasized more than others. 

This emphasis is usually achieved by color, size, fonts, graphics, and other elements of design. Having a well-balanced website design that emphasizes the proper information is not only visually pleasing but it should lead to people staying on your website longer.

Once your hierarchal design is fully developed and live on your site, you can actually track how people are responding to it! Heat maps are online programs that track user behavior on any given web page. You can put one on your homepage and within a month see a color-coded guide of where people are spending the most time and where could use some more attention. 

3. HTML, CSS & JavaScript

Let’s start with the basics. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript work in conjunction to make your website legible, colorful, and operational. Knowing what each thing does and how they work together is the difference between the website you’ve been dreaming of and the one you currently have.


Otherwise known as HyperText Markup Language, HTML is the language of the internet. It is how web designers communicate to technology how things are supposed to look and interact with one another. Within HTML are numerous different tags and codes that help differentiate between a wide range of functions. It tells the internet what belongs to a line of text, what is a picture, and how everything should interact with one another. 


HTML takes care of a lot of the nitty-gritty of your website, but how do you make it look nice? That is where Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, comes into play. CSS provides a system for web designers to create their masterpieces. It helps them set things like the color of the text, image sizing, and all other visual elements of a website. 


Not to be confused with the Java programming language, JavaScript is necessary for websites to run. In the past, JavaScript was used to create alerts on webpages but now it does a lot more. Not only does it allow for greater visual effects, but it also enables you to load new things on the page without having to reload the entire website. Without it, websites would be considerably slower and have fewer functions than they do now.

4. A/B Testing

When you own a business, you need to know how to best reach your customer base. They are out there and they want your business. But, how do you get their attention? A/B. 

Maybe a certain sitemap – meaning how your navigation is organized – funnels people towards your contact page. Or, perhaps free shipping isn’t as enticing as an offer for 10% off their next order. A/B testing is a methodology for experimenting with different things with the same end goal in mind, with the goal of finding a solution through testing what can effectively bring in customers. 

Okay, now how do you track all of that? Flashback to when we mentioned heatmaps. Those once again are great. But, they only look at a page at a time. Your Google Analytics is what’s going to give you a high-level overview of your traffic, visitor behavior, and conversion rates.

Anyway, without A/B testing, you won’t know the difference between converting leads to sales or losing them to the competition. 

5. Infinite/Parallax Scrolling

Infinite and parallax scrolling are two things that work hand-in-hand. Infinite scrolling has taken website design by storm since it was popularized by social media giants like Facebook and Twitter. 

Instead of having things appear on multiple pages that need to be loaded one-by-one, infinite scrolling makes them appear to be a part of the same page. The user can scroll on a single page without interruption until they’ve seen all of the content provided. 

Parallax, on the other hand, is the visual effect of things closer to you appearing to move more quickly than items further away. You experience this every day when driving to work and objects closer to you appear to wiz past you while distant things like mountains or buildings seem to crawl by slower. Websites use the same effect to create a sense of depth the moment someone goes to scroll. It helps keep visitors engaged!

where is a website design help?

Website Design Doesn’t Have to Be Scary!

You don’t have to be a coding wizard in order to have a responsive website that looks incredible and generates customers. There are companies that can help you build exactly what you have been dreaming of. Do some research and find the marketing or design agency that you can trust and work well with!

Nicholas graduated from the University of New England in 2017 with a BA in Business Administration. He is passionate about basketball and Game of Thrones. When he isn't working, he is trying to find the best place to eat in the area.

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