immediaC has been developing websites since 1998. We have worked with clients all over North America and Europe but most of our clients are right here in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.
Our approach to design is simple.
First we want to understand our clients business, their goals, and who their ideal customers are. Sometimes there are no customers, but members and stakeholders. Our web design customers range from small businesses, to public companies, professional associations, unions and government. Every organization is different.
The second goal is to understand an organization’s brand. This is much more than the logo and the colours. A website design needs to reflect the tone and character of the organization.
Is the organization sophisticated or more down to earth? Is it high fashion or t-shirt and jeans? Does the organization have an environmental sustainability focus? A social justice stance?
Developing a web design that fits an organization starts with these design elements.
What’s new in website design? From the outside it looks like things stay the same and then change overnight. Ever heard of the idea that it takes 20 years to become an overnight success? Changes happen all the time. Good designers borrow, and great designers steal. An experienced designer can look at a website and tell you what year it was designed.
Websites are like fashion; some things are in style and others aren’t.
Bold colours and a flat design used to be the big thing. Google Material was a thing too. Before starting the design process, discuss what design approach best fits your organization and also won’t look out of style next year.
Design is just one aspect of building a successful website. There are 5 key building skills that should be considered as you embark on a website development project:
1) Graphic Design and Layout
2) Content Writing
3) Programing and Database Development
4) Search Engine Optimization
5) Hosting, Content Management Tools, and Support
After you have explored the general design approach and established the guidelines for how your website will look, you need to explore what it will say.
There are a number of ways for you to deliver your message:
1) Text - articles, descriptions, blog entries
4) Audio files / podcasts
Creating this content is critical to the success of the site development. The content is the reason people visit your site. They are there to learn about your organization, get their questions answered, make a decision, make a purchase, contact you via email, webchat, or maybe call your business on the phone.
Often your website will have a call to action. You want the visitor to do something:
2) Make a purchase
3) Download an article
4) Watch a video
5) Fill out a form
An effective strategy is to create variations of your offer or call to action then A/B test them to see which is most effective. Google experiments is one tool that will help accomplish this.
Does your website need to integrate with a business process, inventory, or database of another kind? What special customizations does your site need? Is there registration? Do you have an order form, a signup form, or a newsletter? Can customers place an order? Can they check the status of an order?
These are all the questions that a programming and database team will ask in order to explore the business requirements of your site.
To be effective, your web development team will need to understand the keywords that your site will need to be found on. When a user searches for your products and services, does your website show up in Google? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) needs to be part of your web development plan.
Finally, where will your site be hosted and who will do support, training and maintenance? Does the site have an easy to use CMS? Is the hosting provider secure and are backups provided?