Can Modern Web Design Be Considered an Art Form?
Posted 09 November 2021
There’s always been plenty of debate when it comes to website design, development and graphic design, more to the point, whether modern web design can actually be viewed as an art form. In the past few years, more and more digital forms of art have come to be accepted, from videogames to digital paintings, and now we have NFT art. However, the question remains, is web design an art form?
Modern Web Design is Art
All forms of design are essentially art. What else would you call it? Creating anything that fulfils a purpose while being aesthetically stimulating, engaging and memorable is always going to be an art form, and web design is absolutely no different. Subtracting the artistic side of web design will leave you with an entirely perfunctory, boring and forgettable site, less than ideal in a digital marketplace where branding has never been more vital.
Think about image choices, colour selections, arrangement of the page, button design, all these variables need to be executed aesthetically not just individually but in tandem with each other. You need the entire site to work as one piece, as well as being completely functional. This is the art of web design.
Web Design isn’t Just Art
However, like any kind of design, modern web design is never just about art. No one is trying to create a site that only looks great, we all need more than that. You’ve got to be asking yourself, what exactly is the website to your business? What roles does it play? How does it need to perform? While aesthetics are key, they are still just the surface. This is where art becomes design.
Sure, elements like colour and visuals are vital, but so are accessibility, speed, ease of use, limitations of the medium, and other specifications. The artistry needs to take these aspects fully into consideration. Managing to create a site that’s truly a work of art while completely hitting all these functional specifications is vital.
This is one of the most challenging parts of modern web design. While it’s always going to be beautiful to have a huge high-definition video of something relevant as the background on your homepage, if it’s slowing the page speed right down, it’s always going to be a total no-go.
Fundamentally, it all comes down to functional art, or as it’s more commonly known, design. All forms of design are art, but not all art is effective design, and that’s the rub. Look at any website designed by an engineer alone. You’ll see a perfectly functional, operational site that lacks anything engaging, beautiful or original. Take a site designed by an artist and you might end up with a beautiful but useless webpage. There needs to be a balance in modern web design, and that is exactly what design strives to be. Striking that perfect balance is always going to be its own series of challenges, however.
Old Street-based web design agency, specialising in innovative, modern web design, digital marketing