Web Design

Web Design

Get the Right Look

Web design refers to the look of your website—the page structure, photos, illustrations, fonts, buttons, and other elements forming your website’s overall appearance. During planning stages, web designers often work closely with project managers and others on a website’s information architecture. Once a website is launched, designers are often involved in refining the design and adding images, photo galleries, and other features to new webpages and website sections.

Web design involves these tasks:

  • Creating graphic images, icons, and banners (banners are images/text across the top of the page)
  • Selecting and preparing photos and photo galleries
  • Choosing fonts and styles for headlines, text, and other elements
  • Deciding on a color palette for banners and other website elements
  • Arranging graphic and nongraphic elements on the page


At Rutgers, websites for the university’s schools, colleges, departments, and other units have a variety of looks, depending on their needs and requirements. Some sites require a visually stunning photo on the homepage, while others demand a no-frills approach. Whatever your goals, you want to keep in mind why people will be visiting your website. Web users are always just a click away from leaving your site, and you don’t want to frustrate them with confusing icons or slow-loading animations.


The Rutgers Visual Identity System strengthens the Rutgers identity and unites the university community under a consistent, coherent style. While you are welcome to custom-design websites, some basic requirements of the Rutgers Visual Identity System apply:

  • The Rutgers logotype must appear on the top left corner of all Rutgers webpages
  • Each website must contain a link to search Rutgers at search.rutgers.edu
  • Each website must contain a link to your campus homepage or the universitywide homepage
  • Each webpage must include the phrase “Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey”

Web Design Training and Resources

Web design is a broad field touching on a number of different skills and technologies. Look to these sources for training.

Communicator Certificate Program

If your position at Rutgers includes regular communications projects, you should strongly consider signing up for the university’s Communicator Certificate Program. A sampling of courses relevant to web design includes:

  • “Communicating with Video”
  • “Design Basics”
  • “Electronic Communications”
  • “Photography Basics”
  • “Writing and Design for the Web”

Office of Information Technology

Courses to learn how to develop websites are offered periodically.

Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research

Workshops on Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and other web-related topics are offered periodically.

University Human Resources Professional Development Workshops

Professional development workshops offered by University Human Resources can get you started with your web project.

Wireframe Components

Wireframes are basic line drawings showing the placement and position of information on a single webpage. As you develop your wireframe, keep in mind the components that make up a website.

Written Content: Banners (banners are images/text across the top of the page), introductory text, descriptions of majors, descriptions of research capabilities and labs, research reports, press releases, guides for students, archives, forms, directory, contact information, etc.
Multimedia Content: Photos, videos, podcasts, audio, etc.
Functions: Search, email alert signup, registration, databases, surveys, etc.
Navigation Tools: Multiple ways through site, such as menus, A-to-Z listing, search, site map, quick links
Context on Every Page: All pages should include homepage link, webmaster and/or feedback link, contact information or link.