In this six part article series we’ve been discussing the significantly increased need for a well designed online presence for businesses of all sizes and industries. In our previous post we explained the Strategy step in our Five Step Process and why planning is so important for an effective online presence. And a well designed website will put that strategy to work by creating a presence that attracts the right audience.
Design for your brand
Your strategy should work hand in hand with your design. In this part of the process you should determine your brand positioning, voice and corporate identity to help you stand out amongst your competitors. Your branding is a visual statement that includes both visual and textual elements. Your voice, tone and style of communication is part of your brand that contributes to your corporate identity in a crowded marketplace. We take the time to conduct extensive research to make sure you understand what’s really happening in your industry. Don’t brush past this step or simply guess at what you think is happening. It’s just too important if you want to appear relevant.
Design for your needs
It may be tempting to make design choices from templates with limited customization like logos, colors and minor layout changes. However a template design may stop short of fully integrating with the functionality your business really needs. It can also get messy once you start making significant changes to a template. So consider custom design and development to give you exactly the web presence, integration and applications that meet your specific needs.
Design for your users
Understanding your web users’ expectations may seem a bit challenging but we believe its key to good design. And investing in UX (user experience) design will deliver a quality set of experiences for your web visitor. Think about your user’s experience in stages: Are they doing research? Are they comparing you to a competitor or two? Are they ready to buy or already a customer? Each of these unique searches use different keywords and phrases to look for specific information to satisfy their expectations. And don’t overlook the mobile part of the picture as an essential component for a web visitor to stay engaged. Ease of use should encompass everything from mobile search and interaction, specialized databases, payment systems, order applications, Ecommerce shopping carts, to static pages and payment gateways.
If this all sounds like “lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” don’t fret. As we stated in the first article, we hope it’s become obvious why the good ol’ days of internet simplicity are long gone. And that’s why we are here to help. Be sure to check out the next article in this series about how we bring all this strategy and design to life during the Build step.