Critical Steps to Web Design
If you think about it, haha think, there is a simple thing we do that helps us pretty much accomplish most of the tasks we set out to complete on a daily basis; Critical Thinking. Critical thinking as best I can explain it is how we think about thinking. I know – what does this have to do with Website Design and Development right? Well, let me ask you – the easiest way to mess smoothing up is how? Not think about what we are doing in terms of the impact or ramifications it may have in relationship to other things. Example – ‘if I keep using that credit card, pretty soon I will be in debt to an amount that can place me in financial hardship.’
What are the critical steps to successful Web Design?
- Make No Assumptions
- Bring In a Trusted Tech Partner
- Identify Enduser’s Needs
- Leave Room For Error
- Decide & Reevaluate
- Comit & Execute
- Measure, measure, measure
Making No Assumptions About Web Design
The biggest mistake I have seen made concerning web design and development is the client who ‘knows just enough to be dangerous.’ Just because I know a little about my car does not mean I should break any seals or remove any components. I tend to leave 100% of the things concerning my car to the experts; the mechanic! So, why do we assume we can take on a task like a web design project and think we have full knowledge of what is involved from start to finish? Even if I have worked on a web design project in the past, it is possible that platforms have evolved beyond my knowledge and features I thought to be necessary are for the most part outdated and deprecated.
Bring on a tech partner to help iron out all the assumptions you may have about the web design project you are about to embark on.
You Need a Trusted Tech Partner For a Successful Web Design
Making sure you have the right person for the job is as critical as taking a seat on an airplane. I want the MOST knowledgeable and experienced person on the controls. A trusted tech partner for a web design and development project is like the conductor to an orchestra. Sure all the instruments can come together and make sounds, however the end result may not be the desired one.
A good tech partner will ask all the right questions, present viable solutions, and most importantly identify the needs of those who will use your new website, and not just sell you on a design for the sake of making money.
Identify Enduser’s Needs Before You Start Web Design
The critical part of a web design and development project is understand and aiming to fill the needs of the end user. This is sadly where most web design and development projects fail. Think about your most recent bad web experience. What are some of the factors that make it a bad one for you? For me it was shopping for a stainless steel food prep table for my kitchen. I Googled ‘stainless steel food prep table’ and I got a much of results. I looked around and clicked on 1- the websites with pictures, 2- the websites with pictures and pricing, and 3- the websites with pictures, a price and brief description of the stainless steel food prep table’s dimensions. I made a purchase within 5 minutes of my search, but overlooked at least 5 websites, and that lacked to meet my immediate needs.
Knowing that they missed an opportunity to earn my business is surely valuable to those 5 website, but knowing how they failed to and having the opportunity to fix their error(s) is my next critical point.
Leave Room For Error During Web Design
What I mean by leaving room for error [but making sure you prevent negative impact] is that you can never meet the needs of all users, but you can rectify the design or offerings for those who may have missed. This goes hand in hand with my next point of deciding and constantly reevaluating the work.
Decide & Reevaluate Your Web Design
Reevaluating how the web design and development needs to perform can only happen after you gather enough metrics, aka analytics, to be able to determine where the web design and development are failing to meet the needs of your target audience.
Measure, measure, measure the performance of your Web Design
The hands down free analytics measuring tool is Google Analytics. Simple to install. Easy to use and read. As well, it is by far the leader in the space. Why do you need to measure the performance of your website? Well, how do you know where the audience is failing off? How do you know how much traffic is coming to your website and from where? How long are they on your site and what are they doing? You will need this information to be able to make educated changes to your website.