Professional Web Design Project Tips

By on 10/29/2009

Time and time again I hear the same story, and it goes something like this.  “We were working with another web design company for months, and we got nowhere.  We are not happy with our current web designer.” Many times it is also followed up with something like this.  “We already paid the other company half of our budget, so we don’t have a lot to work with.”

It is unfortunate that this happens to client and web development companies. Web development is such an intense project for both parties, miscommunication and misguided intentions is a recipe for disaster.  Below are a few golden rules that we live by, and keep us and our clients on the same page throughout the process.

Planning, Planning and more Planning

Planning is one of the most overlooked pieces of a web design project.  You must know where you are, where your competitors are, where you are going, and what you plan to do when you get there.  Before we even think about the design, we know who our competitors are, what keywords they are using, how traffic gets to their site, what keywords we plan to use, how competitive those keywords are, how we plan to lay out our link structure, how we plan to optimize our site using the keywords we discovered, where we are going with our content and how we plan to make our site better than our competitors.

Project Management

Disorganized projects always end in disaster.  We as the web design company and the client must know the process, what to expect and how it is all going to be orchestrated.  Put together a project overview or a project brief.  Build a timeline and assign task to each person involved, both designers and clients.  Each person has their responsibilities and deadlines before the design even begins and the entire road is paved.

Finally, The Design

By the time we finally get to the design, we have all the tools for a great development phase.  We have all of our colors picked out, we know what we are up against, we know how we are going to make our site better and we execute.  This is an exciting milestone, but also an important milestone.  This is where the web designer gets to put the graphic take on all the data and planning.  Sometimes the design doesn’t always come out like the client had imagined.  This is sometimes where feelings get in the way, and projects go wrong.  Here is how I look at it, and this is what helps me.  I, as a web consultant, look at all of the data gathered during discovery and make my case.  My web designers make their case on the design aspects of the site, and the client makes their case on the vision they have.  After all, it is the clients company and that has to be respected.  We as the web development company are here to bring their vision to life on the web.  When everyone puts their ideas together, magical things start to happen.  All you have to do is listen, and I think that is where the breakdown sometimes happen.

Marketing Trifecta

When the site is complete, that is when the work starts!  A website is not a ‘Field of Dream’ like some are mislead to believe.  Its more like a dirty nickel on the ground, mostly unnoticed and those that do see it just pass it by.  You need a plan to own a successful site.  Owning a successful site means driving traffic to the site, then capturing information or making the sell once the user visits the site.  Developing the site with comprehensive on-page SEO, formulating and executing an inbound marketing strategy and contributing to the world of social networking will set a website up for huge success.  A balance of paid advertising will generate quicker results, and may be phased out as the other efforts gain momentum.  A web development company should be able to develop an online marketing strategy as part of their web development process.

Revisit, Refine and Improve

As users visit your site, they will leave important information behind… even if they do not purchase or make contact.  A very important and often overlooked step is tracking.  Small changes make a big impact for users. You or your web development company should be able to regularly monitor trends and how these small updates affect your website statistics.  For example, you might have noticed how search bars are getting larger on sites like Amazon and Google.  Amazon decided to make their search bar more prominent on the page. The results were that users were using the search bar more frequently, which made it easier for users to find products quickly.  An increase in sales was directly related to this change.

Ask you web development company in the beginning if they monitor your website or offer a package for monitoring and updating.

Final Thoughts

A web design and development project is a long road that will have sharp turns and bumps along the way.  If you are prepared for the trip, everyone involved is going to have a much more pleasurable experience, and the end product is going to reflect it.  I would like to hear any tips or feedback from other web design companies, as well as clients and customers.  If you have worked with a web design company, and something really stood out, what  was it that made the experience so exceptional.

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2 responses to “Professional Web Design Project Tips”

  1. Tweets that mention Professional Web Design Tips | Atlanta Web Design, Atlanta Graphic Design -- says:

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  2. JitendraVerma says:

    This information is really help full to our company .Our company develop web and provide seo service .I will give this info to all my employs thanks a lot ..

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