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Getting over the hangover of old web design methods

6:10 am

Getting over the hangover of old web design methods

Web Design

There is a convenient development cycled followed by most web development companies which has been going on since a while now. It is something that one could say has been carried forward from the graphic design industry.

The way this development cycle goes a web development company is approached by a client for a need of a website to start with.

Process Flow:

  • Start with some preliminary inquires and set to work making the design.
  • Static design (in the form of an image or at the most HTML) that is sent to the client for his approval or feedback.
  • Design Feedback based on Static Ideas
  • Take this design and convert it into a working website with all the bells and whistles (functionality).
  • This has been the way things have been carrying on and still followed in many companies. But a change is more than overdue and we owe this to the many changes in technology besides other factors.

As John F. Kennedy once said – “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

  • I believe the process of web development is all set to change for the current and future projects that the web development companies will take on. FILL THIS LATER. There are many reasons for the same since unlike the graphics a website is not just looked at, a website is actually utilized for various different purposes. It is true that a website needs to be visually appealing and easy to use and understand but it doesn’t stop there.

A new design process trend:

  • It is quite common (and important) that you gather all the vital information regarding the website prior to starting with it. For example the goals should be very clear and you should a good understanding of the nature of the website to be made besides which the content is important too. Once you do have those prerequisites clear, you are ready to start out making something big and good.
  • Clear goals help you realise what you want the website to do.
  • The nature of the website is very important as well since it sends a message across to the visitors and you wouldn’t want to pass along the wrong message.
  • The visitors tend to make note of even the most minute elements which play a major role when the visitor forms his thoughts about the website. Thus it is imperative you understand the subtleties of website design and how all the elements fit together.
  • The content is simply the text and images, it can even include a product list and prices at times. But there is more to the content than just plain and simple information. You need to know the appropriate information to display on the profile also what statistics are relevant and where. For an ecommerce website the visitors also need to know if there are different colour and size options.
  • The necessary discount and voucher information too. It is also important to know how to display which information.

The Typographical Design:

  • Often not a lot of attention is given to the typefaces being used on a website. But you may be surprised to know that it has a very big effect. And it is for this very reason that you find many clients often requesting special fonts on their websites. For example if you have a website on a fairly serious issue like drug addiction or legal matters then it would not be a good idea to choose a font like Comic Sans.
  • Besides selecting the correct font it is imperative that the text be readable on several different platforms too.

Usability & Interactive design:

  • You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the people are not really interested in visiting your website. The visitors that do visit your website are those seeking information, or who want to buy a product or something along those lines. The design of the website should be made keeping this in mind. It is highly unlikely that your website link is going to be passed around just because you have a good ‘about us’ page. (You do need an ‘About us’ page though). Similarly, you are unlikely to attract a lot of traffic to your ecommerce website just because it looks good.
  • An ecommerce website is more than just a good design. It is also important to have good content, good functionality and subtle things that make a big difference.
  • At the end of the day if the users find what they need and feel that they are more than just another customer to the website they are likely to keep coming back for more. An good usable and interactive design will do the job as long as you keep things simple.

The User experience design:

  • The user experience design often referred to as UX plays a big role in the design process. It is more to do with the feel of the design and less to do with matters of how things work. This is a good way to anticipate what the visitors will experience when they visit the website thus helping you provide them abetter experience.

Accessibility:

  • A website needs to be accessible. In general it is believed that the website should be designed well even for people with disabilities. The disability is generally considered things liked blindness. But that is not always true. You need to design the website to also cater for the colour blind.
  • Small subtle things like a contact form that does the verification and if an error is found only returns with a red dot. That is no good for a person with colour blindness and  an appropriate design change is required.

Visual Design:

  • Every website needs to have an visual appeal. The issue really begins when more amount of time is spent on how the web site is going to look and less on how it will affect the success of the website. It is important to have clear objectives while developing a website. That is not to say that the website developed can stray from the design made, but it is necessary to make sure that the design elements do not dictate the development process and compromise the functionality.

Performance:

  • Time is valued very high in this day and age. All of know the saying only too well which goes something like this –

” Time is Money “

  • In general a faster website will do better. Although time is relative; in the sense a person working on his desktop at home in a country side is likely to have a great deal of time on his hands and expects to be able to have access to detailed information on the concerned topic. On the other hand if the same website were to be accessed by a someone on their mobile device on the move they will not be very forgiving if they don’t find the information they are looking for fast.
  • Hence, while designing the website you need to create good balance between several different platforms while the loading time matters too.

Conclusion:

Website development is often compared to many other this, however the fact remains that website development is an art of its own. It is in a different zone all together and cannot be compared with other similar development processes.

Doing so can get you success but it is likely to be short lived. Website development is about many different things. It is about having a visual appeal, about being functional, about delivering what you promise and the user expect. It is important to not lose sight of the main objective of developing a website and be side tracked by design elements that may be appealing or unnecessary fancy functions that don’t matter a lot in the bigger picture.

Alakmalak is one web development company that understands the difference between developing a website and the development process of other elements like graphics etc. Alakmalak has kept with times and has developed a very good website development process.  It is little wonder that they have managed to successfully develop more than 2000 websites in a short span of time for clients form all around the world.

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