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Website Layout 101
The development of a website has several phases and it has even more phases if the website has complex functionality. In general the process of making a website includes.,
- The gathering of requirements
- Making of the layout (website design)
- Adding the necessary functionality.
Each of these phases are equally important. When it comes to making the website layout the web designer’s task is to take in the client’s requirements into consideration and at the same time design the layout such that it is in keeping with the current trends.
A client will usually request a choice of three templates and then request changes to be made on the one he selects. At times the process of web design can go on for a long time. The web designer’s job is to minimize the time spent making the layout and try to get it right the first time.
In our current age digital world things like websites, apps etc are the Products for a Web Development company. It seems that the job of the designer is much more than to just create a website. Rather the website designer is creating a product and besides creating a good layout, be also needs to conduct usability studies, have a plan for the design strategy over the course of the product’s lifespan.
Many people come across design issues; like they have a well designed website but down the line something changes and then the entire needs to be redone. Such situations can be avoided by planning ahead.
Hence it is irrelevant whether the designer calls himself a Website designer or a Product Designer, since they will continue to used the existing tools and tricks for the job. But they also need to master new skills which include more user focused values and processes.
Web Designing – Redefining the job requirements:
The process of web designing is quite well defined one and an employee with the title of a Web Designer always knows what exactly is required of him. However the responsibilities of a Web Designer have rather blurred over the years and I would so far to saying that even the title is now inaccurate. The job of a designer demands much more that what the job advert reveals. Here is a sample advert for the job of a Web Designer and it is something that you may have seen.
- Required: Website Designer
- Work as a part of as small team.
- Develop high level prototypes, design mockups, specs.
Requirements and Skill:
- Experience designing website layouts.
- Proficiency in common suite of desktop applications in order to get the designing work done.
- A proven track record with high quality designs.
- Strong sense of design theory and typography.
- B.S. / B.A in related field or equivalent experience.
However there are many things that these job requirement don’t mention. In fact the changes in the culture have effected a change in the way we look at the design. The designers are expected to come up with their best and make If there is one hard job for a designer it is to sell and justify their ideas to their clients ( non – designers). Thus in these changing times the about the skill set of a designer is more than what is described above in the sample job requirement. Look at the bigger picture the designers need to have all the technical skills like typography, grids layouts, etc but there is something more that is required.
Thus here is a list of the additional skills that also matter and can help you as a designer get the website layout right the first time, every time:
- The technique of Usability Testing has been designed to test the interaction design in order to evaluate the ease of use of a website for the average visitor.
- The main aim being is to check whether the website design meets the requirements and serves its purpose.
- Usability testing is not rocket science though it is also not as easy as it seems. Usability testing will reveal how the visitors approach your website and if everything on your website is intuitive.
- In the case where there is an issue, it is important figure out the exact reason and circumstances as to when that happened and what measures are required to correct it.
The Design Approach:
- The designers have it hard since the general attitude of the a client is that they want the website ready “yesterday”. You can’t really blame them for that either. When they come across a good business idea they want to implement it as soon as possible.
- Looking at it from their perspective they are right too. In this competitive world if you are not quick enough to convert your ideas into a practical application soon enough it is likely that someone else will. Hence maintaining a timeline means a lot to a client and if they have chosen you as their website designer it is your duty to make sure that they get what they need and fast.
- These are times when planning ahead can help minimize development time. To plan ahead means designing your website such that it is easy to make changes to it. For example the client may not be going for a responsive design to start with but it is likely that he opts for it at a later stage. If your design is very rigid and the client does request to convert to responsive design, it will take you a great deal of time to deliver. On the other hand if your design is good or you have made use of a decent framework you should be able to convert the website to a responsive design at the blink of an eye.
- Maintaining good communication throughout the project is essential. It is vital that the website designer has complete information of what he is making which includes the content as well as the message that the client wishes to send across. It is fairly easy to simply design a website layout but building a website layout that reflects the client’s message and preferences is when you have got it exactly right.
- At times there is a another person between the client and the website designer interpreting what the client’s preferences are and making sure the website designer does accordingly.
- This may be a good solution but in most cases the changes of the getting the designer getting wrong are high if the communication is not direct.
- Besides being able to communicate directly with the client and understand his requirements, it is also vital to look at things from the client perspective to be able deliver what he expects with out to many retries.
- The true value of design
- At the end of the day the client is interest in a good website or a good “product” if i am may call it so.
- The design of the website matters as does everything else like the functionality and other various other elements. Thus the entire team needs to be working together on this as does the designer. The designer needs to keep in mind that the it isn’t value of the design that matters the most but it is the value of the product. In this case the product is that Website that they are developing which is much more than just the design.
- The design of the website matters a great deal and getting it right on time is the client’s main objective. To be able to understand this and to be able to make the website layout is the job of the designer. But there is more expected of the designer than just the skills to build the website.
- The india web designer needs to have several other skills like good communication and ability to test his work too.
- Alakmalak is on web design and development agency that always keeps with times and makes sure they have the requirements of their clients at the top of their minds. It is for this reason that they have design and developed more than 2000+ website for clients from all around the world and continue to satisfy their clients.
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