If you’re a business owner who’s never gone through an entire website design, there’s more going on than meets the eye. It can seem pretty simple when you’ve delegated the project. No wonder so many business owners expect rapid redesigns. But those who are working on your behalf can give you many answers to the frequently heard question: “Why can’t I have a new website next week?”
Here are some of the aspects they must consider — with your input, of course. Take a look and see things from their perspective.
- Design. The designer must:
- Understand your company and the design sensibility of its decision makers.
- Conduct research on your company’s competitors to fully understand the space in which yours operates.
- Brainstorm design ideas and pull them together as efficiently as possible.
- Ensure that the design meets your business objectives and appeals to your target market.
- Obtain your feedback, incorporate it and thus improve the design.
- Content. The content creator must:
- Develop your business’s content strategy to determine which information is important to include and which isn’t.
- Spend time drafting new content for you to review and comment on.
- Edit existing content to make sure it works with the redesign’s content.
- Development. Developers and coders must:
- Create most of the code themselves because websites are typically developed from scratch. Not quite sure what that means in practice? Right-click on this page and choose “View Source.” All of that is the code that goes into the page you’re viewing.
- Budget coding time wisely. Even when developing a content management system, coding is time-consuming because the code has to be written specifically for that CMS.
- Spend time testing code and content in different browsers. The most commonly used browsers are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. The website has to work in all of them. On top of that, several versions of Internet Explorer are still in fairly wide use, so developers have to pay attention to them.
- Test mobile websites to make sure they display properly on a variety of mobile devices — both smartphones and tablets.
Most people don’t think about, but your participation is vitally important to the finished product as well: feedback. As a business owner, you must give feedback. Your web designers need to make sure you’re happy with the direction the design is headed. That means you need to take the time to review the designs, consider what you like and don’t like, and then communicate your thoughts back to the designer. Believe it or not, this is often the longest, most difficult part of the project. Businesspeople often underestimate how long it will take to even glance at the designs, let alone communicate feedback.