Theory of Designer's Role in Website Design

by R27 CREATIVELAB on Thursday, 19 March 2009

by Daniel Baldwin

In this paper I will address the ideas of what design is and the role of the designer in society. I will be focusing on how website design effects society and the influence a designer can have. I will talk about how society perceives web design and what needs can be met by designing webpages effectively for multiple devices and people with disabilities.

When designing for the web, a designer has to think about all the different aspects and elements that go into a site in order for it to be successful. From a design perspective, there can be many metaphors for presenting information or ideas to others. The purpose of the site can drastically effect which elements are necessary and which can be done without.

Design allows for information and ideas to be communicated effectively by organizing them in a fashion that can be effectively understood by the intended audience. Design allows of your thoughts to come out in a form that can be understood by someone other than oneself. This concept is the basis for understanding the purpose of design. Communication is a word with a rich history. The word comes from the Latin communicare, meaning to impart, share, or make common. It became part of the English language in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (Peters, 1999). Learning how to communicate effectively is the basis of website design.

When a designer creates a website, the intent is usually to express something. If someone is creating a site for themselves their motivation can be quite different than if they are building it for someone else. In the first case, the designer probably has the desire to express his or her own ideas or work. If they are building it for someone else, there is usually a monetary or socially beneficial aspect of it. Understanding the intent of the communication will help the designer to understand how best to design the site. Society looks to share their experience with the world mainly because it feels good for others to know about us and think about us in a positive light. People have been imparting their ideas on each other for thousands of years. The additional ways that people do this have changed over the years, but the same basic intent has stayed the same (Father, 2000).

One thing to consider is that not everyone is gifted with being able to communicate effectively with others. Also, as new media are created, not everyone is able to comprehend the significance of them or possess the ability to utilize them. The designer’s role is to allow these people to communicate by converting their thoughts and ideas into a new medium (Warner, 2004).


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