The Process of Great Web Design

Posted By Andi Wilkinson
Creative Director of Made By Factory. UX Designer & SEO Nerd, Andi is also a board member of Manchester Digital, and speaks and writes on a variety of web-related topics.

Time to read: 7 minutes

Great Web Design - Traffic

With an array of self-building tools, anyone can make a website, with very little knowledge and effort. It’s great that the web has become more accessible. Or is it?

Ambitious business owners usually know that’s not what it’s all about. A website needs to be seen, it needs to engage the user, and take them on a journey. Most of all It needs to convert those visits into revenue.

So when choosing a digital partner for your business, what are some points to consider? What are some principles of good web design?

While most businesses know they need a killer web presence, their marketing teams aren’t web developers or PPC strategists.

A good agency will bridge the gap and work with the marketing team as a supportive arm, making them look amazing. Everyone is happy!

So what goes into a website build?

Any digital agency worth their crust isn’t going to design you a website based on a whim, or your favourite colour. There’s a lot more that goes into it. There are web design rules.

Firstly we do our research. We look at the customer needs and map out journeys based on your user base.

Discovery

Great Web Design Discovery Session

An online business has less than three seconds to impress before a customer goes off to a company that invested in their web presence.

Maybe you don’t quite know where to begin, or perhaps you know the core principles of web design and have mapped out your whole project with 3M post-it notes. Either way, website design research is a stage you can’t miss.

We will thoroughly scope and spec out your project plan, determine the right tools for the job and write a brief for or with you.

Competition

We need to understand your market and your competitors. This provides a solid foundation for your project. We will carry out competitor analysis and keyword research to determine an audience.

We look at other companies operating in the same sphere. See what’s right and wrong with their online presence. Using analytics & various other tools we build audience profiles from the visitors of similar websites.

We create avatars or customer personas for your website. By doing this, we can create a journey of how they will interact with your site at crucial touchpoints.

Design.

Good website design is a process. There’s a good deal that goes into making a website that works. Understanding what goes into our work can help you to see the real value behind a job well done.

Mobile Considerations.

Its no secret now that major search engines will penalise a website if it doesn’t support mobile.

It’s noteworthy that mobile traffic has now surpassed desktop and has continued to rise steadily since 2014. Mobile is here and has been for some time.

Your site needs to perform and excel on mobile and tablet devices. Taking action on mobile should be simple. This means considerations like size and placement of all-important calls to action.

In a world of many devices, will your project look the same on all devices? No. Better than that, it will adapt and function whatever device or browser it’s accessed on. We test your site extensively and work with frameworks that ensure your website is always compatible.

We create adaptive and responsive mobile first designs, built for speed, efficiency and conversion.

Project Planning

Our process typically starts with an audit of your existing web presence. If you are looking for a new web presence, this can be a great place to start.
A good agency are well versed in how to design a website layout to meet your goals.

Looking at your existing content, we will recreate the user journey through your site and create a new sitemap. This will identify critical touchpoints along the way. We will look at different website layouts.

Creating a blueprint

We will work with you to gather and if necessary, improve the content, bringing in more critical calls to action. It’s not uncommon for us to see no interactivity above the fold on an outdated site.

A critically important part of your website is that its well organised. How clear is the consumer path to purchase?

Once we engineer a clear path through your pages, we create simple wireframes, indicating your site’s layout and navigation.

A wireframe looks like a blueprint and typically its blue. I won’t say this hasn’t caused confusion in the past, but it helps you see how the whole thing is going to work before you take it to development.

Mock-Ups

We create HTML Mockups for our work. We are in a mobile device age, and we typically find its better to design mockups in a responsive framework. It gives you a better idea of how it’s going to feel.

Bringing it all together

Although CMS has been decided at the start of a project. We work with the best platform for your project based on your requirements, our experience and any future considerations.

This means whether your website is powered by a popular CMS like WordPress, or uses a bespoke framework such as Laravel, we can build to your needs.

Now all the core mechanics are in place, we can grace your online presence with beautiful visuals. With our code wizardry, we will create a beautiful UX, with subtle interactions, type and iconography, bringing it all together.

While the front end is all your clients see, you have the assurance that every aspect of your website, from inception to deployment has had the same careful consideration and has been built with speed conversion and marketing campaigns in mind.

Our websites are hand coded to best practice and webmaster standards. This means they will be fast, light and super usable.

Visibility

SEO Great Web Design

Successful web design means it is going to be visible. Your website leaves our factory fully optimised for search. This means the code and URL structure is well engineered, all of your pages & images have meaningful titles and descriptions for search engine purposes.

We check speed and load time, social integration and everything else that makes your site one of the popular kids.

Digital Marketing

Most business owners know that in a world of ten billion web pages it is never enough to launch a site and forget about it. We set up analytics and remarketing audiences immediately. When we sit down for our initial discovery, we will recommend strategies for lead generation.


Work with a digital agency who specialises in web design standards and best practices. The result will be a website that pays for itself over and over.

Our years of coding, design and marketing experience allow us to build technical wonders that will outperform, outshine and outrank the competition, every time.



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