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How to Come Up With a Remarkable Web Design Strategy

Having a clearly defined and planned web design strategy is vital to making sure that your website design and development moves forward without a hitch. Without a good strategy, you’ll end up working on aspects of web design that doesn’t add much value to your business and go back and forth trying to fix mistakes. Here is some valuable advice for building a web design strategy that elevates your business and supports your business goals.

Define The Purpose Of Your Website

Although it may seem obvious, it’s important to figure out the purpose of your website. Drill down one more level to really get to the nitty gritty. For instance, the main purpose of your website may be to generate sales for your company. On the level below that, your purpose may be to create the optimal user experience for both desktop and mobile device users to maximize sales, spread word about your business, and build a loyal customer base. It’s about defining ‘how’ you’re going to achieve your main goal.

Think Design And Development That Supports Your Marketing

Marketing will be the lifeblood of your website. That’s why you want to design and develop a website that works together with your marketing. If you’re going to be focusing strongly on mobile users, then a natural course of action will be to create a responsive site and optimize the site towards mobile users. If you’re going to rely on the search engines for a bulk of your traffic, you’ll have to focus on developing with cleaner code and a format that supports your SEO efforts.

Make Your Brand Stand Out And Connect With Your Audience

Your brand is what makes you unique, so you need to take advantage of it. Designing a generic site will only serve to lump you into the same group as your competitors. The brand has to come through in the design, content and experience. The presentation of the design has to be relevant to your audience and convey a strong personality that represents your brand. Adding a positive experience on top of that can make your brand and website memorable. The experience consists of the actual usability of the website as well as other factors such as the purchase experience and customer support, so building an awesome customer experience will take place over an extended period.

The Importance of Form

Speaking of usability, it’s important to have a strong form for your website. This is achieved by having a clean user interface (UI) design. The UI should be well organized, intuitive, clean and relevant. In the case of a website, the UI will most likely be the navigation menu. In the beginning, you’ll be making an estimated guess as to how your navigation menu should be designed and organized. Through analyzing user behavior, studying customer profiles and reviewing traffic analytics, you’ll be able to come up with a UI that better serves your target userbase.

Function Has A Symbiotic Relationship With Form

The actual function of your website has a symbiotic relationship to its form. For instance, what your users are looking for defines the function of your website and the UI (its form) is defined by what kind of various functions need to take place on your website. How well a website’s form is designed (with the understanding of what functions are needed) will allow the website’s functions to be experienced by the user in the most optimal way possible.

Planning And Execution

There’s going to be a lot of design going on. That’s why you need to designate which members of your team will be working on what. You’ll also need to come up with a process map as to how the design and development project will proceed. Finally, you’ll need to define which teams need to communicate with each other and when. Planning your project and executing it correctly will result in a cohesive, unique and outstanding website.

Dedicated Mobile Website or Responsive Website

Before deciding whether to go the responsive or dedicated web design route it is important to know what kind of content the site will be featuring. If the site will have lots of text, images and/or video then creating a responsive website would be the most logical choice. There is little need if any to alter that type of content, which simplifies the transitions between different devices. Dedicated mobile websites may be a better choice if the content will be fundamentally different on mobile than on the desktop site or if there are lots of tabular like data. Although, this type of content can be created to be responsive it’s not cost effective.

While it’s true that responsive websites cost more usually, that is because they are quality adaptive websites that will need little maintenance in the future. Dedicated mobile websites are less expensive but as new devices are created they will have to be continually updated and maintained. Budget constraints may cause people to lean towards a dedicated mobile site but in the long-run they will be paying more than they would for a responsive website.

In the end it’s all about creating the best experience for your users. Kristofer Layon has applied the theory of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to the needs of mobile web users. Below is a simplified version of Layon’s Hierarchy of Mobile Needs to assess the quality of a website from a mobile user perspective.

Dedicated Mobile Website and Resposive Website Design Graph

Access – Can we simply connect to the website on a mobile device?

Interact – How well can the user navigate the website? Is the UI functioning properly?

Perform – Making your website simple is vital to the performance of your website for mobile users. Most people will abandon a website if it takes too long to load. Making sure to keep a webpage’s content around 1 MB will make it able to have lower load times for a wide range of mobile users. Keep in mind that technology is always advancing and the amount of information that is optimal for mobile users is always increasing.

Enhance – Utilize the capabilities of the mobile device. Sometimes users can do things on mobile that you can’t do on a desktop. Make the most of these features get creative and take the mobile experience to the next level.

Deciding which one is best comes down to the situation. What content do you have and what do you want it to do for you? Mobile devices are an integral part of the user experience of the web now and they will continue to be more important in the future. It is important that we keep pushing to make that experience better.


About the Author

Adam Bleck, is a marketing lead at ArtVersion Interactive Agency. He loves to write on variety of media topics and digital strategies. His passion is in organic and native marketing initiatives and exploring and strategizing new-media advertising.
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