It used to be that a website just needed to be ‘pretty’ to be considered effective. This has drastically changed with modern times as businesses continually put more and more of an importance on their web presence, and as websites increasingly become the sole or main driver to a business’ revenue.
How many times have you landed on a website that looks awesome, but is frustrating or confusing to use? Or just has useless content? It still (unfortunately) happens quite often.
Now we’ll take a look at each consideration more closely in a step-by-step process to building an effective website that delivers results.
One of the first steps to building a website is knowing your company goals, whether that’s to increase sales, hire better people, streamline a process, etc. Once you know the goals and objectives of the website, you can strategically put together the layout and basic foundations of the website that will dictate how people use it and find what they need.
This is why it’s so important to consider strategy before actually starting visual design. You need to set the groundwork for meeting your goals, and then work up from there in terms of design.
It might seem strange for this step to come so soon, but for truly effective search engine optimization to have your site rank well, it needs to be considered from the beginning. This means looking at the sitemap of pages and carefully considering the best way of setting up all the content for your best chance of having it rank well in the likes of Google and Bing.
Typically the most exciting part for many, this is where the visual look and feel can be built based on the strategy and layout determined in the previous steps. The design should also be strategic though – using appropriate colours, textures, fonts, images, etc, to create a pleasant user experience that will help influence them to deliver on those goals!
The website’s design should be simple, clean, and engaging. Also see our previous post on the new trend of flat web design.
The first three steps are very important in creating that engaging user experience and allowing for the user to find the information they are looking for on your site. Yet, all that will be for nothing if the information they find is not of substance. Your website needs to have great content, no matter what type of business it is!
Consider adding a blog to your site, where you can have regular, fresh content updates which are great for visitors and for search engines!
Social media is becoming more and more integrated with websites, with the ability to ‘share’ just about everything, comment or login using your favourite social network, embed content from social networks on your site, etc. A socially-integrated website creates a much more engaging, dynamic user experience, and gives you the potential for much more exposure and growth.
Consider how your social media strategies might tie in with your website strategy.
We all know that the way of the web is going mobile. Having a mobile friendly (responsive) website is just about a basic must nowadays. With so many people using their smartphones for browsing the web, you want to make sure that the user experience you worked so hard to create in these previous steps can easily translate to their phone – otherwise you are losing out on a big portion of happy visitors.
The previous 6 steps all mainly relate to the ‘front end’, or what the user sees. But what about the back-end? It’s just as important to make sure your website is built by talented hands who know how to use all the latest web languages and technologies, ensuring your website is modern not just in its design, but also in its construction. This allows for faster, more efficient, and more versatile websites that users will appreciate – and Google!
There is of course much more that goes into each step, but this should be a good overview of the modern-day web design process. Luckily, we’re experts all the way through ; )