Our Website Design Process
Website design is now so common it's difficult to appreciate the work involved in creating a successful online presence. A visually appealing website is relatively easy to create, useful content and functionality — what makes a website successful — is where time and effort are needed. Our "Jeans and T-Shirt" approach to websites avoids design trends and current templates in favor of lasting usability and a website that’s more like a team member within your business.
Clarifying how a website will help the client business
Firstly we discuss the nature of the website; is it promotional, does it have interactive features, will it be managed and updated on a regular basis? Then we can assess what tools will be of use in making the website an asset to the business. Equally important is purchasing a domain name and hosting, then securing passwords, email addresses and any relevant user names for potential social media accounts.
What pages are needed and how they connect
Long before the aesthetic nature of the website is considered, we create a visual sitemap. This represents the site pages and is a reference point to confirm the functionality of the site. It shows how a user would use the site and follow set processes which will require programming, such as a shopping cart, newsletter subscription or contact forms.
How the pages are laid out, user interaction and required content
Once the sitemap is agreed we define the layout of each page with a wireframe. These illustrate how each page will display the information associated with its function; what items are needed on a contact page, how images will show on a gallery or sales page. Once agreed upon this acts as a guideline for the final design and all the content required, such as text, illustrations or photography can be gathered.
Front-end Design and Programming
Creating what the public sees
A car has two aspects; the exterior which people see and the hidden "under-the-hood" engineering of the motor and component parts — a website is the same. The images, text and buttons mostly created using HTML and CSS with which a user interacts, are the tip of the website iceberg. Once the content is collected, we design the site following an agreed-upon visual style, focused on keeping the website identifiable and unique to the client brand, unlike a typical template design.
A website is generally intended to be an income generator. Whether directly as an online-store or as a catalogue, sales support or brochure, the programming behind the site is what enables this to happen. Even a simple website contact form can have a degree of nuance that will help create a new customer or lose one if implemented poorly. When complex user interactions are required, a detailed outline of the programming needed is agreed upon first as revisions can cause substantial delays and errors.
Production, Delivery and Aftercare
Keeping your website relevant and useful
Once a website is completed and deployed there are a number of additional processes we undertake. A final proofing of the site for errors and validation of usability with online services, the creation of an XML Sitemap (a reference for search engines to index and register), acknowledging your site as active. A good website is rarely ever "finished". It's important that a website should grow, or at least have fresh content to let customers know that the business is active. The intuitive tools we build allow clients to do that simply but we are often asked to — and can — provide a maintenance service, sourcing and adding content.