Posted on: June 22, 2012
Consider these helpful tips when planning your next web design project
Written by: James Weir, Founder of Xpirt Design
The internet is really the most accessible as well as the most important medium of communication as well as information dissemination in these modern times. That’s the reason why a number of companies as well as agencies seek the services of web designers as well as web developers to enable them to get connected around the globe in a split second.
In their eagerness to catch the “world”, quite a few companies commit the mistake of hiring website designer who doesn’t address their needs. Low experience as well as intimate knowledge in web designing more often than not leads to the following failures:
Treating SEO as a different project from the website – search engine optimization (SEO) ought to be at the core of the website. Make sure your designer provides you with an optimized website and to take care of everything to include keyword search, duplicate content, multiple domains, Google local listing, semantic mark-up, search engine friendly navigation as well as structure, and html and CSS coding.
Ignoring user interaction and also focusing on design perspective only – the success of a website greatly is dependent upon its guests. a not-so-great user experience will likely be a direct result improper design. Some designers neglect to look into user interaction. A professional web designer gives you understanding of the web as well as how users interact with it. He or she understands user interfaces and design techniques, including color theory and everything in relation. Design will include functionality and not mere appeal.
Neglecting to measure website performance – you’ll not realize the importance of something unless of course it’s measured. Assess the impact of your website with the use of metrics. Check out charts and reports to keep an eye on number of visitors, page views, traffic sources, keyword report, and content distribution. Measuring your website’s success is very important in case you want to make an impact online. By simply knowing how frequently people visit your web site, you would know how your site is faring on the internet and in case your site has actually reached its audience.
Neglecting to check former jobs or projects – check out what other individuals say about the designer or design company. Ask for recommendations from people you know having existing websites. Look into their weaknesses and strengths and learn from their experience. It’s also beneficial to ask for samples of previous work or company portfolio of the web designer you’re preparing to hire.
You’re shelling out significant amount to have a website designed for your company. Take good care of your resources; it is of great importance to find and also hire a reliable and professional designer.
Building a web site is one thing. Web design is another.
Websites are becoming increasingly well designed. There are some tremendous visual designs out there on the internet, some of which will have been designed by top class professional designers at huge costs, some by just clever skilled individuals with a tremendous flair for design. Some however will have been built by people who really should have stuck to what they really know!
Visual design is one thing, but the complete structure of the site being well designed is another. Building the site well is an important factor… just building it as a series of pages and links with bad navigation and clunky images and content, is not a good idea at all. This loses you customers.
So what am i trying to say? Lets start with…
To formulate the best web site you need to be able to convey to your audience exactly where you are coming from and how you can help them. A lot of that will be in the content and copy writing but I will leave that for now. However the instant visual imagery and immediate answer to their wishes must be conveyed within a few seconds of the visitor uncovering your page. It is most important that it does a lot of this visually. That’s where good graphic design comes in. the correct colors, images and overall feel makes all the difference in keeping or losing your visitor.
Once you have grabbed the eye of your visitor, they will want to learn more and this is your chance to tell them all about it and steer them to that all important contact page or email form. If your site is clunky, difficult to navigate and the visitor has to spend most of their time wandering about looking for those all important links… they will go somewhere else and you will have lost them… forever!
It used to be no more than three “clicks” to get to what you want, otherwise forget it. I think it should be no more than two “clicks” or even none at all… it just lands in their lap! Ideal of course but not always the most practical. Mind you if the visitor is directed straight to a landing page… well that would be perfect. It captures them and gets their contact details and you are set to follow up a potential customer!
Just building the site is not enough. Time needs to be taken to formulate the whole process and put together a structural map on paper. Work out where the information will be displayed and make it easy to find. I have struggled with big web sites, like local government sites. They are probably “organic”, stuck together by various people in different departments and because of this no one thinks out how the unsuspecting public may easily find that snippet of information or downloadable form etc. So you call them up and take up everyone’s time and complain too! (Have you ever noticed that the bigger the company gets, the less obvious their direct contact info is until it drops off somewhere to be lost forever? it’s all down to “knowledge bases” and “tickets”).
Some savvy people create the working structuring of the site in “wireframe” so you get the whole thing in front of the client to test, check and see if the client is happy before you go to all that trouble of loading in the content. A website wireframe is the only way to keep everything clear and in perspective whilst you are developing (building) a web site. The client knows exactly where he/she stands and what to expect. It is rather like doing a pencil sketch before the ruler and ink comes out. It will utilize basic boxes and simple lines to define the layout, image positions, navigation and text areas, before the actual content has been created at all.
Ok friends! fire up your design software and let’s get started.
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