Web design has evolved radically since the early days of mass internet adoption. Visit a website that dates from the late nineties or early noughties and compare it to one created recently by your favourite brand. The difference is stark.
Websites are an increasingly immersive and sophisticated medium. They should be responsive and simple to use while communicating a strong brand identity.
While it’s possible to create your own website using a variety of tools and different platforms, these rarely give businesses the shop window they need to have the right kind of impact with their customers.
If you’re serious about your business then you need to use a web design service.
What’s involved in web design services?
Designing a website is not just about how it looks. It needs to work well and be reliable. It shouldn’t present any barriers to the user, allowing them to easily make a purchase, find the information they need or make contact with the business.
Designers and developers will begin by outlining the skeleton of your site known as a wireframe. This will give you a structural outline of what your website will ultimately look like. This will include the layout of different pages. Wireframes may also be produced that are customised for different devices and platforms.
After the wireframe has been completed, mockups will be created that add more graphic details to flesh out the visuals of your website. This will give you a sense of how the completed website will look. The mockup will generally reflect industry trends and particular details that are pertinent to the company. A mockup can be extensive, providing a comprehensive outline of the design and layout before the work to create it begins.
Content will be created for each page in line with the overall aims and objectives of the website, and with SEO in mind. The visual elements will be added that reflect the brand identity, giving your website a cohesive look and feel, ensuring that it tells a consistent story about your products and services.
Prior to launch the site will be thoroughly tested to ensure that everything works as it should. Your website needs to be responsive, not presenting any challenges for the user. Testing will take place across a range of devices and will make use of automated crawlers who look for broken links and other glitches, as well as manual testing.
If everyone is happy with the design, look, feel and responsiveness of the site and any glitches have been ironed out then it’s time to launch. This will usually be timed and supported by marketing communications.
Of course, this is only a brief summary of everything that’s involved with web design services from initial ideas and developing a plan, to the launch and subsequent auditing of how the website performs. A good web design service will handle the entire process from conception through to regular performance testing. Websites shouldn’t stand still and will need to continually evolve to reflect changing industry trends and consumer expectations.
How do you identify good website design?
There are 5 elements to good website design:
Consider the content. It plays a key role in your SEO strategy, driving visitors to your website and keeping them engaged when they arrive. It should be high-value in terms of the information it offers as well as visually appealing.
It needs to be usable so that visitors to your website find it easy to locate the information they need, get in touch or place orders. Any glitches in terms of usability can result in visitors giving up on your website.
It needs to have a strong visual impact. Is it aesthetically pleasing and does it reflect industry trends? Your website needs to connect visually with your customers. All of these elements are next to useless if no one can find your website, so it has to be visible.
Attending to all of the technical and content aspects that can impact on your SEO performance is vital for how your website performs and responds to search engine algorithms.
Good website design encourages interaction either through sign-ups, questions, community sections and purchases. Good website design is ultimately there to serve a purpose.
What does poor web design look like?
Poor website design is in many ways a converse image of good website design. Poor websites are frequently cluttered and confusing, with too much information jammed onto each page. The content is unfocused and isn’t geared towards SEO.
The design may be unresponsive with a page layout that makes it difficult for people to find the information they need. Poor web design doesn’t take account of how a website appears on different devices.
There are also a range of errors that you can make with the visual and aesthetic aspects of website design. A poor choice of typography, no consistency or a lack of contrast in the colour scheme can make a website difficult to read.
Missing or broken links and confusing calls to action can all impact on the perception your website has of your business.
How to get started with web design services
Website design is a complicated and involved process that is easy to get wrong. That’s why it’s generally better to hire a professional web design service to create and maintain your website.
Good website design begins with good ideas, so taking some time to think about how you’d like your website to look and feel is always worthwhile. Professional web design services will help you formulate your ideas, paying attention to current trends. They’ll help turn your initial ideas into a workable website design that meets your aims and objectives.