The Internet has accelerated change in business and will continue to shape not only business but the lives of everyone. Today, websites need to create a positive user experience where the visitor is able to intuitively access content. A website must be engaging, logical, informative and understandable. Effective sites deliver content swiftly and effortlessly.
The viewer's experience reflects not only on the products or services but the company as well.
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Strategy needs to come first. It is the foundation for every project, it defines and prioritizes the objectives, provides a map for building the site content, identifies resources and focuses everyone involved.
The strategy also finalizes the overall marketing role that the website will perform and is a blueprint for creating the website plan.
With an effective and uncomplicated strategy, planning can flow in a natural and complete manner. The scope of the project determines the extent of the plan.
The overall schedule keys off the plan and strategy and should include a time-line with an outline of costs. The plan and schedule will align expectations, reduce problems and allow the project to move quickly, professionally and reduce surprises.
Using a web developer with a deep understanding of the web-site's specific industry can make a big difference. Experience, knowledge and resources in the target industry can avoid inaccuracy and reduce time to completion.
Industry specialization allows increased communication, insightful and unique recommendations as well as focused questions.
Content is all of the text, graphics and informational elements of the website. Content is the single most important aspect of a website since it carries your message. Great content will hold viewer's attention, be engaging and enhance understanding, while poor content will lose viewers.
If an aspect of the website does not enhance the content, your brand or the message, then it is not important.
Functionality is related to structure and navigation. It includes the site map, internal and external links as well as all menu items.
Functionality needs to be designed and set before production begins. How well the site works and how useful it is are crucial elements of a successful website.
Site functionality needs to accommodate on-going changes, technology updates and content revisions.
Visual appeal is important but should never compete with the message or add complexity.
Understandable graphics, images and logical lay-out strengthen content, add depth, context, organization and meaning.
Artistic elements highlight the uniqueness of your business and differentiate any product or service.
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