Web Design Kent | Website Design
Web Designer Kent
Web Design and How It Can Help Your Business
From Concept to Execution
How do you properly design a website? With the help of the top team for web design in Maidstone, we can help you understand every step from concept to education. We will be looking into some of these elements in more detail, but it we’ll start by looking at your business requirements and website goals to find out how they work together.
We start with the project plan, in which we build the site map, working out what pages and what content you want, categorizing and linking the pages as suits. We will build wireframes for the pages, so you get a basic idea of how the website looks and works, before the page is populated with content and visual design assets.
What do web designers use to build websites? As a team dedicated to comprehensive website design in Kent, we use a variety of tools, including coding software, digital graphics software, and sometimes site building tools like WordPress. These tools we use in the actual construction of the site depends largely on the needs of the client and site.
Understanding Site Goals
Before, during, and even after the execution of website design, we will put together a list of website goals that we will track and ensure we’re creating the site that you want. An essential part of site design is making sure these goals also meet your business requirements.
However, there are other requirements you have to consider outside of the business too, including essential capabilities, functions, and factors related to how it is used.
For instance, site goals can include things like:
- Increasing sales through SEO, marketing content, calls to action, and conversion rate optimisation.
- Demonstrating brand authority through valuable content, updates, and linking to social media accounts.
- Improving customer relationships through online support, webinars, helpful content, and email marketing linked to the website.
- Create brand recognition by generating content, working with social media accounts, managing promotions on-site and more.
As a premium Kent marketing agency, we can ensure that not only will your site design help you reach your site goals, but that we will create a multi-faceted online strategy all dedicated to meet your site goals and business requirements they’re attached to.
Gathering Business Requirements
The goals of the website are largely going to be tied to the business requirements. As a top team for web design in Ashford, we’ve helped a variety of businesses nail down the business requirements, and here are some of the steps we take to define them:
- Gathering members of the C-suite, CEOs, CFOs, for marketing team heads, and for IT team leaders.
- Ask them about their perceived requirements with the help of site prototypes, storyboards, brainstorming with them and so on.
- Note different objectives (sales, lead generation, client support, etc.) and the digital channels that will work with the site (SEO, Google Ads, social media) etc.
- Generate a Business Requirement Document, outlining all the different requirements named
- Identify the site goals tied to each business requirement and prioritize them.
- Create key performance indicators to measure how well the website meets the individual business requirements.
- Set targets for website analytics stats that are directly linked to the KPIs you want to meet and document.
- Document all objectives, how they are measured, and how they are reported.
- Talking over the document with the team, making sure they are happy with it, and that any concerns about missing or lower priority business requirements are addressed.
Beyond content and visuals, what determines good web design is usability, also known as the user experience. This usability is essential. Poor usability means that a visitor will not be able to easily find what they came to the site for in the first place. If that happens, they’re likely to go on to the next site instead.
As a web design agency in Kent, we ensure that this usability is testing time and time again from the prototyping stage onwards.
User testing most often involves having members of the team performing tasks that test different parts of the site repeatedly, and marking down any difficulties that crop up during those tests. There are multiple types of user testing, including the following:
- A/B testing
- Interactive wireframes
- Sketched prototypes
- And more
The site can be tested in a specific location with a moderator present. It can also be tested remotely across the world, with a moderator either watching through screen sharing software or by reading reports generated by the testers.
User testing is likely to continue up until even after the website has been launched, optimising it for visitors as much as we possibly can.
Putting Together a Content Plan
The assets and components that make up the individual pages of the website will have been designed by this time. Placeholder content may have been implemented so that both you and your Kent web development company can have a good idea of how content will look when it’s on the site.
Once the wireframe of the site is in place, and the visual assets have been added, it’s time to put together a content plan. In some cases, content may be planned before the sitemap is put together, with content informing the design. In most cases, the team has a vague idea of what pages are for what content, but the content in itself is planned and implemented later.
As part of a marketing plan, content will be planned to fit the different parts of the buying lifecycle (awareness, consideration, and purchase decision). As such, there will be content designed to highlight products and services and the needs they fit, content designed to convince visitors why products and services are the right choice, and content that offers support for those who already made their purchase.
The content plan will differ majorly from website to website, so you need to work with your web design agency in Kent to understand what the plan is truly going to look like.
Also referred to as “QA”, quality assurance is often confused or and used interchangeably with user testing. QA’s job is different, however, in that it’s about discovering design issues and development errors when a website is mostly complete, as well as ensuring that the user interface and user experience meet the standards set out by the website goals and business requirements.
QA can involve testing various aspects of the site under a range of variables, such as on different devices, with different internet connection speeds, on different operating systems and so on. There are honestly more variables than any QA process will be able to cover, but the aim is to be as comprehensive as possible so that the vast majority of users will have no problems when visiting the website.
Quality assurance can also involve simulating live use conditions by having multiple users testing at the same time, simulating the kind of traffic that your website can expect when it’s launched fully. As such, QA is often the last step before the website is ready to launch. However, that’s not where the job of a Kent web development company ends.
Long after the website has launched, maintenance is essential for ensuring that things keep running smoothly. This includes time sensitive steps such as updating the site’s security to meet new threats and patches to optimise it with browser and operating system changes.
Maintenance can include a wide range of tasks, including the following:
- Continuously checking for and fixing page/asset load errors
- Backing up the website and testing the backup
- Ensuring forms work as expected
- Running updates on website and plugin software
- Check pages for spam comments and posts and removing them
- Checking for and fixing broken links and media assets
- Checking for and fixing any 404 errors
- Optimising website load speed
- Scanning security logs and making sure any noteworthy issues are investigated
- Looking over website analytics and providing feedback based on the data
- Reviewing structure and navigation based on live user experience
- Updating graphics and media based on brand changes
- Tweaking and correcting language throughout the site
As you can tell, maintaining a website can easily become a full-time job. However, not every task will have to be performed as regularly as the others and we will ensure a focus on the core issues first.
Balancing Business Requirements with User Needs
As a professional Kent marketing website design team, our primary goal is to meet the needs of you, the client. However, sometimes it is our job to tell you when we think your ideas regarding website design aren’t the best suited for all.
Usually, we will bring up and discuss the conflicts that arise between business requirements and user needs. For instance, pop ups do not match user needs. Most of them would likely prefer they were never included in a website,but they could be a key lead generation tool on your website.
Rather than saying “no pop-ups”, however, we will work with you to balance your requirements with the user experience. This can include looking at the overall user experience and spreading out the aspects of site design that are business requirement based. For instance, we would measure where and when we use pop ups, so that they’re not constantly interrupting the user journey.
We can also use the user data and analytics to see where your business requirements risk getting in the way of your website objectives. If we see that a certain page is where most users stop using the site and that it’s due to a business requirement, we know where to balance in favour of user needs next.
Developing a Marketing Plan
The website is often considered the core of any online marketing strategy. Your SEO, social media strategy, web advertisements, and new media channels. With that in mind, the marketing plan can work as a direct extension of the website goals, as well.
For instance, if one of your website objectives is to increase sales, then you can use social media ads and Google ads designed to lead people directly to product pages. If the aim is to increase brand awareness, then your marketing plan may lean more heavily in using search engine optimisation and social media presence building in order to enhance the site’s visibility.
Here are the steps we will usually follow when developing a marketing plan for the sites:
- Defining the website goals and finding the marketing methods and platforms that best fit them.
- Nailing the target audience and using targeting methods available in each platform to match them.
- Budgeting aspects of the plan, such as ad buy, in order to meet marketing objectives within a set period of time.
The marketing plan can change based on the shifting business goals and how the website plays into them as well, so the marketing plan is rarely a one-and-done affair.
Designing a Mobile-Friendly Version of Your Site
More and more web users are browsing the internet not on standard desktops and laptops, but on handheld mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and even some portable game consoles.
As such, ensuring that your website hits your market means that you have to look at creating a mobile-friend version of your website. There are three primary types of mobile-friendly design, they are known as the following:
Adaptive: These are effectively mirror versions of a website that are created and hosted separately. When a mobile user attempts to access the website, the site will detect the device they are using and redirect them to the mobile site instead.
Responsive: There is no alternative form of the website, but rather the website assets change depending on the device. Different text boxes and visual assets will resize automatically based on screen resolution, and content may rearrange itself.
Responsive plus server-side support: This is effectively responsive design, but it operates much quicker because an already-made arrangement of the side is loaded, rather than loading before rearranging itself.
We can look at your website and find the best version of mobile-friendliness that works for you based on size and need.