Now more than ever, website design is usually the first connection a user makes with a brand. So its fitting that an increasing number of businesses are seeking to create an online experience that authentically reflects their perspective and offering. From strategy to launch, with so many elements required to create the ideal user experience, site owners can feel overwhelmed with the idea of engaging in a new or refreshed website design process. The good news is, with some planning, phase work and the right team – the experience can actually be of huge benefit to a company’s bottom line and culture.
By beginning with goal setting, prioritizing content, competitive analysis and design research, internal stakeholders will gain a more accurate understanding of their brand while at the same time are great first steps in aligning with an asset assessment process. Focusing on key components such as target market, key market sectors and brand messaging assist by having a good idea who the website is targeting. By combining all these aspects, a pathway to wireframing and design iteration is forged.
With the analysis and goal setting already gathered, content hierarchy, navigation, and overall content strategy come into play. When creating a site, the goal is to be able to implement pieces that put emphasis on the brand message. Being able to highlight important components that are critical to the company is important to form a proper game plan. From mobile to web-based applications, it is key that there is a singular brand message that is implemented in each design and that translates from one platform to another.
Achieving The Ideal Design
Beginning with the wireframing process, visual and contextual elements are then applied to form what will become the interface. The design is informed by the connection of a brand and its audience, and it is here where user journey mapping and testing is leveraged. Website design does not just equate to visual presentation. It means having knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the speed of site and compatibility of a platform to browser. Each of these components plays a role in overall web design and function.
Diving Into Web Development
It is important to develop insights that are user-centered with a brand focused experience. From the wireframe and UI/UX design strategies, it is critical that the website flows naturally. The web development process is a very strategic one. Through careful coding, testing and cross checks. It is important that there are educated decisions behind a website design. From components such as tab titles and functions, to interactions related to calls-to-action – these pathways and journeys that the user will take affect the overall perception of a brand and impact the viability of the business.
Launch and Beyond
Once all functionality is working properly and has passed web development testing its time to launch. This phase should also include walk through for an internal team, launch time and communication strategies. Marketing, SEO and launch outreach are all essential components of creating engagement and traffic to the site that a brand and team has worked so hard to perfect.
Strategy, design, development and the final launch, are all components that play a large role in a successful website. It is not just as simple as finding a template and plugging information in it. There is a logic behind why certain things are placed and incorporated into the site itself. Which is why it helps to have an agency on your team, to be able to guide a brand in the right direction of a successful website and opportunities for authentic connection with the audience.