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Chapter 1: What Is Web Design?
The Web Design Pyramid
One way to think of all the components of Web design is through the metaphor of the Web pyramid shown in Figure 1-1. Content provides the bricks that build the pyramid, but the foundation rests solidly on both visuals and technology, with a heavy reliance on economics to make our project worth doing.

As Web designers, we try to plan our sites carefully, but construction is difficult. The shifting sands of Web technology make it challenging to build our site; construction requires teamwork and a firm understanding of the Web medium. Even if we are experts able to construct a beautiful and functional Web site, our users may look at our beautiful construction with puzzlement. Designers, or their employers, often spend more time considering their own needs and wants than those of the site's visitors. Our conceptual Web pyramids may become too much like brick-and-mortar pyramids—impenetrable tombs that leave us wondering if the users who strike out over the Web to reach our monuments can even find the door. Do they even understand the point of the site?

While Web development challenges aren't quite on the level of those faced by the ancient Egyptians, building a functional, pleasing Web site that can stand the test of Internet time is certainly not easy. The pyramid provides a simple way for designers to think of all aspects of Web design in interplay, but does little to provide a deeper understanding of the Web medium.

Web Design Pyramid
Figure 1: Web pyramids: the facets of Web design

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