“A good design is like a refrigerator- when it works, no one notices; but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.” – a quote by Irene Au
This article will walk through 5 important steps to how to design and develop a successful website, the website design process that will help you become a more productive and successful web designer.
Keep in mind that web design is not an art, but it’s a combination of different skills from typography to layout design and art. The secret of a successful website is the art of bringing together and arrangement of the elements of a website. These are- CTA buttons, breadcrumbs, the holy search box, internal pages, error messages, etc. And for each and every aspect of your design towards the success of a website, you must think strategically.
- Set your goals
A very initial step in the process of website development is setting your goals. Your project is required to have brief outlines about the goal of website. It is important to clearly define your goal because a website’s focus has a major impact on the whole project. The further steps of this phase are-
- Find out the precise requirement of the website which includes determining the target audience, goals of website, features, and information about the website
- Project summary with a reference point
- Determining the project deadlines, budget, etc.
- Conducting competitor analysis and visual branding
- Ascertain the functionality requirement
If your requirement is a simple website with text, images, and contact information, then your website building strategy will be straight forward. But if you want to sell your products online then your website building strategy will be different. Map out the functionality you are looking on your website. A shopping cart website for an online store or a password-protected section of the website. Also, check out the screen sizes you want to view your website on, and consider the grid of your website. This step will guide you through the specific screen size requirements to its functionality and will help you to create a successful website.
- Strategic planning
Setting up strategic planning is important for the long-term success of a business’s website. This stage includes-
- Choose your platform
Determine what actually is your requirement. Is it a simple website, e-commerce website, or an information website? Depending upon your requirement choose your platform.
- Decide layout and menu navigation
Homepage layout has basically two parts – above and below the fold.
- Above the fold is at the top of half of the page. Content placement here is very critical as your visitor will not have to scroll down to see it.
- Below the fold is above the fold material and has more depth in it. Add your clientele and explanation why you are unique for the visitors and why should they reach you.
Also, make a plan for the logo positioning on your site. If your website is majorly focused on your brand products and services then try placing the logo in the center below the menu bar. But if your website is less focused on your brand then place your logo on the same line as a menu bar.
- Placement of navigation bar (it should be on the top of the page). Make sure your navigation bar includes links or your contact, about, and services pages.
- Choosing typography for your website
- Choosing a color scheme for your website (try following the logo color code). But yes, make sure your color theme is not dominant to your text, it should be complimentary. Also, make consistency color scheme across your website. Don’t use different color schemes for different pages, it will confuse your customer.
- The content of your website should be SEO friendly. The purpose of your content should serve a purpose and encourage your audience to complete an action. Make it eye-catching. Use Google keyword planner and Google Trends to try a basic entry point to SEO. Make sure your keywords rank for the services you provide and are included in H1s and H2s, body content area, and meta descriptions
- Wireframing your website is also important to know which element should be placed where on your website
- Choose a web designer or developer
Well, choosing the right web designer or developer for your website is a critical task. You are required to do a lot of research for freelancers or web design companies. If your website has a simple design then hiring an individual or a freelancer will be a good option (make sure to see his/her portfolio). But if your website is client-centric, then make sure you hire a decent web design company who has a team of web designers or developers available in-house. This phase should not be taken as lightly because the designer you work with will ultimately be responsible for the success of your company’s website. Make a thorough research of your options and ensure that the designer you are considering have relevant experience for the work you are looking for. Usually, web design takes a span of 1-3 weeks and development again takes 1-3 weeks, depending upon the complexity and number of web pages of the website.
So, after going through all the phases of the strategic planning of the website. Congratulations, you have mastered your business website planning already. But hold on, before making your website live, you have to test it that how your designs actually work. While performing testing, consider the following-
- Your site should be screen-friendly
- Your site should be enjoyable to all web browsers (especially Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari)
- Ensure that all CTAs work perfectly
- Ensure the internal (or external) linking of all the web pages
- Monitor the website for several days before launch
- Re-read all the text on your website and check for any grammar errors and typos
Does your company need a stunning website?
Its time to put your feet up, have a cup of tea and bask in the positive reviews of your website. Make sure you are updating your website frequently so that your audience does not get bored with the same layout. Keep figuring out the engaging and interesting layout for your website. Add nuts and bolts to your website and make it attractive enough. Go beyond the nitty-gritty and take your website to the next level.
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works” – Steve Jobs
Happy designing fellows!