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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.