A well-designed website is not just for decor and aesthetics. It offers a lot more than that. A website’s design attracts visitors to a site; it communicates visually with the site visitors and helps them connect and understand the product or service faster and better.
Usually, professional web developers create the design for a website, based on its subject and requirements.
Designing a website is a big process and this includes the following steps:
1. Defining the goal of the website – Firstly, the goal of the website needs to be established. Questions like who is going to be the target audience, what is the website intended to convey, what is it’s the primary goal – to sell a product, a service or just to spread some information? etc should be answered, and using this information, facts need to be gathered.
2. Decide content – The content for each web page should be decided, based on the subject and the other information gathered from step 1.
People visit a website, mainly for information. The design attracts visitors, but it is the information that keeps them interested or makes them visit the site again or buy the products or services. The content that is going to be put on a website needs to be planned, based on the kind of audiences that the business is primarily targetting.
People that don’t fall under this category can be weeded out so that the maximum amount of time and energy can be focused on catering to the target audience. These can be people within a specific age group, or from specific regions around the world, or people dealing with certain health or fitness issues, so on and so forth.
Depending on this, the design and the data or content that needs to be put on the website can be decided, so that it caters to the right kind of audience successfully.
Apart from this, it is important for a business to keep tabs on their competitors or other businesses that have the same target audience, to get to know what they are doing well, and what they might need to improve on; using these knowledge businesses can work on these areas.
But it is also important not to get too influenced or carried away by the competing websites’ weaknesses or mistakes; showing others in a bad light may prove to be catastrophic for a business’s own future, so that isn’t a good idea.
The information gained from competitor research merely needs to be used to figure out what they are not doing so thoroughly, or what things they are missing out on with respect to potential customer’s needs, and to improve on or include those, to give the same customers the things they can’t find there.
3. Wireframing – Wireframe for a website is something that provides a detailed view of the content that is going to be put on each page. Wireframes do not need to show any actual design elements, but they provide a blueprint for defining content hierarchy on the page. This is usually done by the designer, who creates the design for the web pages of the site.
Wireframing is an important step in any website development project. It gives the clients, developers, and designers a clear idea about the basic structure of the website.
4. Visual Design – Some rules need to be followed, for the visual design or look of web pages, though not hard and fast –
The pages of the website should have matching design and patterns; Font sizes and styles for headings, sub-headings, content, etc should not be different on each page.
-The layout of text and images in all the pages should also be planned well so that they are not too contrasting in every page.
-Navigation from a web page should be easy to anywhere else in the site, for a user. This should be made possible, by the use of widgets (like buttons) and links, to enable moving from one page to another without much hassle. These widgets and links placed on the page should not be difficult for a visitor, especially a first time visitor to detect and use. So the design should be planned to keep this in mind.
-Most of the business websites now are compatible with desktops, mobile and tablet screens of all sizes.
-So, the website should be made “responsive” – that is, it should be made compatible to look good on all kinds of devices, like mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. The website when made responsive, will automatically resize itself to fit any screen, and look good on it.
For this, a good website design platform should be chosen – one that provides a code-editor option for design, which will enable all the above.
5. Search Engine Optimization – SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a very important step too, and this needs to be done for a website while building it. SEO enables anyone to find the website easily when a keyword used in that website is entered in a search engine; it makes sure the website gets maximum visibility and visitor traffic, and also that the website isn’t left behind in the later pages of search results.
For search engines to detect a website easily, the proper keywords need to be highlighted, which can be done only using a good SEO tool. The website design platform chosen for making the website should hence have an effective SEO tool integrated with it.
So for a website designer to build a website that is successful in doing what is intended of it (be it promoting a product or spreading information, or both, or anything else), a good website design platform is absolutely necessary.