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Is Website Design an Art?

There is a sharp controversy among the artists, designers and experts: is good website design an art? To know it well, should we understand the difference between art and design? What are the characteristics that separate one from the other? Although, both the artists and designers create visual compositions, using the best of their knowledge, experience and expertise, but the purpose of their doing so is absolutely different.

Now let me discuss on these points:

1. Good art inspires and evokes emotion. Good design motivates.

A good artist starts painting on a blank canvas and keeps doing so until he can draw a complete picture of his feeling and thinking, taking the elements that he thinks would certainly help him sharing his sense with the audiences in the most effective ways. An artist's intention is to build a strong emotional bond between him and his audience.

On the contrary, a designer's liberty is restricted by pre-assigned message, idea, action, and the purpose of making the design. He has a fixed point to start and end it. A designer's job is to discover something with the elements that already exist and serve specific purposes. His purpose is to motivate the audience to let them feel a desire for doing something like buying a product or using a service.

2. Good Art is interpreted. Good design is understood.

Art being a creation has no limitation. It can not be circumscribed by any, definition, explanation and interpretation. Therefore people with different opinions, cultures, tastes, and levels of education explain an art-work in different ways and perspectives.

Say for example, the great art-work Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci has been interpreted in many ways by the Romantics, Scientists and Skeptics. Scientists say that Mona Lisa's smiling is nothing but an illusion created by peripheral vision. Romantics say Mona Lisa is in love. Skeptics say nothing happens.

In contrast, the purpose of designing is to convey a message and motivate audience to do something. So a designer's sole purpose is to make people understand a message: what is the usefulness of his products or services.

3. Good Art Is a Taste. Good Design Is an Opinion.

Art is a taste that results in various opinions. Say for example, a piece of art seems to one good or bad depending upon his taste, liking and disliking. If he is a champion of modern art, a piece of traditional art will seem to him age old and obsolete.

Design, too, depends upon taste. But the difference is that a design is considered successful and good only when it can fulfill its purpose of stimulating people for doing something.

4. Good Art Is a Talent. Good Design Is a Skill.

Art is a talent. It is a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings and expressed through drawings, paintings, sculpting by an artist. It is a natural ability and inborn-quality. It requires skill as well as talent. It can not be taught.

But design is a skill that can be taught. It can be improved and developed by hard practice. Therefore, from the above discussion, we can easily come to the conclusion that design is not an art.

Web design being a significant part of design, it is not an art. An artist has the liberty to express the way he thinks. It may be a personal interpretation and subjective reaction of him. On the other hand, a designer has to reflect the way other people think. It is the objective-reflection of how his target people and his client will take. He is to fulfill the goal of building a website.

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