To cater to the pressing demands of a client in projecting their website as powerful marketing and public relations collateral, the web designer of today can no longer afford to remain backstage. The designer is entrusted with the task of not only building the website from scratch but also to sharpen its functionalities, analyze user behaviour and trigger its traffic-generating potential. Here’s where and how web designers make this happen.
- Why build from scratch in the midst of so many available templates?
It’s easy for the developer to adopt templates. It’s eye catching enough to attract attention. It’s cost effective for the client. So why is there a buzz around custom web design, when thousands of trendy, pre-built options are available as templates for your website?
A little probing into this market reveals the crucial buzzword in the present day, customer-oriented marketing landscape: Personalization. Customers today are more demanding than they were in the past. To survive competition, the web pages need to convert visitors, not merely showcase your unique proposition to them.
The reason for the failure of the do-it-yourself approach in web engineering is that templates are like borrowed knowledge. Your business remains yet another brick in the wall. The designers of premium and original websites are multi-tasking and goal-oriented.
- Blend technical skills with artistic potential
As the enabler of top-notch web technology, a designer must be adept at programming languages like PHP, ASP and Java, web application frameworks like Ruby on Rails, coding software like HTML, CSS, design software like Photoshop, Illustrator and a thorough knowledge of web server administration. However, the most important goal for designers is to unleash their creative potential in building the 3 layers of a website, namely structure, style and behaviour.
In the past, only technical goals were assigned to the designers. Now, the management of businesses have broadened their outlook and adopt an inclusive policy of engaging the web designers in all their technological pursuits. With adequate space and authority to perform, web developers can prioritize and re-prioritize their designing goals.
- Building Responsive Websites
A responsive web design that offers the same quality of experience for users, irrespective of devices or screen sizes, is the goal of every custom web designer. Every business expects its website and the layout to respond and resize itself according to the viewing source of the users, through an expert blend of grids, images and media queries. Given the present day browse-on-the-go requirements of a tech savvy youth, responsive web design is a top priority.
- Channelizing buyer intent
Stepping into the shoes of the buyer is mandatory for the custom design to achieve its purpose. The main purpose is to create brand awareness and to educate customers on the commercial and ethical aspects of the brand. Arousing intent in the buyer is the foremost facilitating factor for conversion and is an important goal for designers. By understanding the key stakeholders in the business, namely the client, the product and its consumers is the starting point of building custom web design. This information-building stage must be fine-tuned so that every element of the web page is tailored to the specialities of the brand.
- User Experience Model (The UX of custom web design)
Customer is not only King, but the be-all and end-all of present day business. Building a design that is comfortable for use by the target market is a vital ambition of any designer. Accessibility, efficiency and usability of the design are the key elements of UX design principles. The design has to appeal to the user expectation in a fraction of a second before their interests wane. Enhancing the quality of user interaction on the website is a tough but practical goal.
Proper navigation, streamlining and distribution of content and images, controlling loading delays, using appropriate colours, animations and conspicuous placement of call to action buttons are some of the launchpads for designers to achieve their end-user satisfaction goals. Enhanced levels of search functions, content readability and prioritizing flow, hierarchy and arrangement of information across the web pages will ensure that visitors spend more time on important web pages.
- Deploying SEO strategies for maximizing visibility
Buyers are busy people and wish to have their needs fulfilled by the first few businesses that appear on SERPs. If the goal of a designer is to make their web design a hub of conversion, then strategising the search engine presence is pivotal. Premium engines like Google rate and rank websites on many factors including credibility, relevance to customer search queries, organic content with powerful keywords, mobile-first capabilities, page loading speed, back links and numerous other ranking criteria. Designing an SEO friendly layout is a challenging goal for any aspiring web-design developer.
- It’s no more Do-It-Yourself; It’s Go-To-Expert
The investment in terms of time and money necessitates a pool of experts who gel with the client’s business requirements and PR strategy on a holistic basis. The major flaw in the DIY approach is that web development is done piecemeal, but the custom web developer engages with the client, adds his logo and adds value to his business. Engaging with the client right from initial stages, taking feedback and making revisions, the team of experts become the confidante of their clients. Multiple viewpoints are taken to extract and deliver the best web solution for effective branding.
A developer needs to have a cordial and in-depth relationship with their client, preferably over personal meetings, so that even before the major building process begins, expectations and prospective deliveries match seamlessly. The designer of a custom website is expected to treat each project as his window for self-expression, with due attention to the needs and preferences of the client and their market. No longer are web designers confined to the role of techies or software developers. Building a stand-alone website is a long-term relationship and a building endeavour that can elevate brands and boost customer lifetime value for a business.