The term web design encompasses several skills used in producing and maintaining internet websites. Generally, web design covers areas such as web graphic design, interface design, authoring, user experience design and search engine optimisation. Web designers usually also have to take usability and web accessibility into account.

Today, web design makes up an important part of our lives since many people have to work with the internet. It is a fairly recent field of design which came into existence in the late 1980s when the World Wide Web was created. In the beginning only text, without the integration of moving images or music, could be found on the internet. Initial webpages were Unix based, then along came Netscape and a sort of browser war began. The dominating browsers after 1999 came from Netscape and Microsoft. Thanks to the competing companies, web design developed rapidly and many inventions, such as JavaScript, were created.

Although it is a technical discipline, web design can also be related to graphic design in general. Tools and programmes for web design are being updated continually. Designers can use mark up validators to test accessibility and usability, hand-coded or editing software-coded mark ups to create webpages, or vector and raster packages for working on graphics. Skills and techniques in web design include use of typography, page layout, code quality, visual design and user experience design. For example, a website should only use few and similar typefaces and layout should encourage easy navigation for users.

Several people with different job descriptions are needed to set up a complete website: Web designers, web developers, graphic designers, internet marketing specialists, SEO writers, internet copywriters and user experience designers may all be involved in the process. The web designer is responsible for all visual aspects of a website while the web developer should have sufficient knowledge of programming languages. A graphic designer usually creates logos or buttons, the internet marketing specialist is responsible for targeting viewers. Internet copywriters work on the content of a website and user experience designers work on the field of user focused design. However, it is common in smaller organisations that one person occupies both jobs as web designer and web developer.