Web Design is a complicated and multifaceted process with various elements. It requires experts from different fields to design a website that meets the goals and needs of your business. There are five major components involved in bringing a website to life and they are; Strategy, User Experience, Design, Technology, and Marketing.
Before you actually start with the physical building of your website, you must start with a strategy. A well-developed strategy involves framing the problem and identifying a high-level approach to solve the problem. Careful research is at the heart of a user-centric website design and an essential part of creating a design which supports your website’s users. The research is about identifying what is relevant to your business and your website users. It is about examining your business, your audience, your competitors and your search engine optimization among other things. To perfect your research you will have to develop buyer personas that help define each target audience sector and his or her specific goals. These goals will be used as objective measurements of success or key performance indicators.
2. User Experience
User experience centers on meeting the specific needs of your targeted website users and creating a satisfying experience when using your website. To achieve this, you must convert your strategic goals into executable and meaningful tactics and interactions. This will create an enjoyable user experience and give your website users what they want from your website. This all starts with putting forth exceptional content on your website pages. Understanding who needs it, where they look for it and how they think about it, will help you place the right content in front of the right people at the right time. All this adds to a delightful user experience.
Organizing your content is a vital part of moving the process from theory to practice. You need to articulate your design decisions and deliver a sitemap which in turn will be drafted into a wireframe. Wireframes represent the website without visual distractions. Wireframes can be drawn on paper or build a clickable prototype. It is important to test your wireframe as this will help you to revise the prototype and then refine it as you move into visual design.
The design phase is where you see your web design project coming to life. The design phase puts user experience concepts into concrete constructions to which your audience can relate. The first step in the design process is to use a mood board. A mood board allows you to see in advance what your website visually will be like. With a mood board, you get immediate feedback on the overall look and feel of your website. Once done with the mood board and you are satisfied, it is time to move to the next design step which is the actual responsive website design. Responsive web design is the notion of designing and developing a website with responsive layouts that respond to the screen size of the device used by a website user.
This is where you will actually start to use coding languages such as HTML5, CSS3, and JQuery. The design stage is also where you will build your website around sound Search Engine Optimization (SEO), disciplines. This includes creating unique accurate page titles which are specific to the page, creating description tags, correct URL structure, easy site navigation, quality content, image optimization, heading tags, and many other factors involved in SEO.
Hosting is the most important part of your website project. Without hosting, your website will not be accessible to your website users. The three common hosting solutions to choose from is, cloud hosting in a shared environment, cloud hosting in a dedicated environment and hosting your website on your own servers.
It will not do you any good if you have a beautiful responsive website on the web, but no one is visiting it. This is where marketing comes in and we’ll briefly look at Search Engine Marketing, Paid Search (PPC), and Inbound Marketing. If you have not build your website around solid SEO principles, you will have to start your Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign with Search Engine Optimization. SEO is vital for your website as users search for solutions to their problems or needs on search engines such as Google and Bing. These search engines return the results of what their crawlers found on the more than 1 billion websites, to the user on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). If your website is not optimized, the likelihood of them finding your website is 1 in over 1 billion.
Paid Search is a more aggressive approach to search engine marketing where you pay for ad placements on either Social Media Platforms or Search Engines. All paid search ad platforms, allow you to buy ads based on the keywords you wish to be found for. Paid search gives you the chance to immediately rank for competitive keywords at a price.
Inbound Marketing is marketing focused on getting found by customers. Inbound is about placing relevant quality content in front of website users searching for answers to their problems or needs. This is done through blogs, infographics, ebooks, website pages, etc. This, in turn, results in visitors converting to leads and eventually into lifelong customers.