How to Achieve Superior Web Design and Development
Good Web Design and Development is perhaps the most important element in launching and growing a modern brand. Web portals and mobile apps are the primary channels customers use to engage and transact with brands. An intuitive, engaging design married to seamless development can make all the difference in growing your brand
Define your Brand DNA 1st
Before launching into the actual web design and development for your brand, it’s first necessary to define your brand DNA. What is your culture? What are your value sets? Who are your target consumer personas? How are you different from your competitors? How do you want consumers to feel once visiting your website? The Founder and core management team know the brands’ dna intuitively - the goal is to be able to define that brand dna, efficiently and effectively, for employees, partners, and everyone else. Consensus on Brand DNA is critical to good web design and development.
Design is 1st among equals
You need both- good web design and development. You can’t have one without the other. That said, though, it’s important to acknowledge that design and user experience are ‘first among equals’ and should lead the process. The reason is simple: consumers want a seamless, intuitive experience that’s fun, engaging and easy to navigate. They want a powerful engine driving the whole thing, sure, but they just don’t want to look under the hood. They don’t want to have to figure anything out. They just want it to work. Therefore, ease of user experience needs to drive the web design and development process.
Create User Stories
Now that you’ve defined your brand DNA, gotten the team on the same page, and resourced a web design and development partner, it’s time to create User Stories. User Stories define all of the different ways consumers can interact with your brand online. It defines the ‘story’ of each type of user engagement. This is an exhaustive process that should consider each different type of likely consumer and how best to engage with them. The goal is to see the brand from the point of view of each different type of consumer in an effort to anticipate and serve their needs.
Mock up Wireframes
Once you have defined the user stories it is time to create wireframes. Wireframes are the blueprints of a web portal or app. Wireframes define the parameters of every screen within the experience. How each page should perform and be laid out. Wireframing is an exhaustive process that leaves no stone unturned and explores every single web page possibility.
Style Guide + Designs
Once the blueprinting process of creating wireframes is completed it’s time to move on to creating the design intent for each web page. The first step is to create a brand style guide that defines the look and feel of all of the art on the site: the font, the colors, the palate and the graphics. The style guide sets the tone for the web design but it also defines the look and feel for all brand communications in the future. Once you finalized the style guide, a designer will use the guide to create PSD’s for each web page experience. Finally, each PSD is married with the development and you are ready to launch!
Optimize for Performance
Good web design and user experience is critical to a successful modern brand. That said, though, all websites have to be optimized for performance. They need clear calls-to-action, well defined sections on who-we-are, links to case studies, and easy ways to communicate with the brand whether through email, chat, or via the phone.