Before we start the blog let me share a little story, two of my younger nephews Andy and Charlie, both wanted bikes as a birthday gift. Andy wanted something basic and functional. Any added gizmo would be a bonus; on the other hand, Charlie was not sure from the start. Charlie wanted something high end with lots of gadgets on it. They were both given set budgets.
Well, I took Andy to the bike shop and took him only 15 minutes to decide, and it was lower than the budget allocated, so he ended up having a few gadgets on the bike. We were out of the shop in less than half an hour.
Contrary, Charlie on his birthday, he was still confused, we still went to the bike shop, we went to 3-4 different bike shops. He did not like anything and did not have a clear choice in his mind. Charlie ended up with nothing, and poor Charlie is still riding his elder brother’s old bike, and I believe, he has to wait till his next birthday, whereas Andy is enjoying his bike meanwhile.
After this, I sat down with Charlie and made him understand why it is so important to have a clear requirement and budget. I also made him aware that he could have bought a bike and upgraded it slowly. I am sure Charlie is looking forward to his new bike on his next birthday.
Responsibility also lies with web design and development companies to guide the clients in the right direction with the right advice.
We, at Proton6, have a very clear client onboarding process, where we discuss the client idea in-depth and come up with a minimum viable product and set up client expectations accordingly. It is very easy to get entangled in tech world jargon, and I believe it is the responsibility of agencies to break down website design and development processes.
Your website is online representations of you, your team and your business. If you take pride in what you do and give your online customer’s similar experience that you would provide on the phone or their visit to your office premises, think of your website the same way.
Let’s lay-out some crucial points that must be taken care of by both client and agency during the website development lifecycle of any project.
1) Don’t be Charlie, Do the Proper Planning
As stated above in my anecdote, Charlie knew he wanted a bike but had vague requirements whereas Andy had clear requirements; hence eventually, he ended up with a bike. Planning and feasibility study is critical before you make a selection of a website design for the great user experience.
2) Consistency is the Key
Be consistent in your brand identity. Creating a strong brand identity is very crucial across all customer contact points. Your logo, Typography, colour schemes, icons, and fonts should all be consistent across the website.
Every single page should reinforce your brand proposition.
3) Mobile-First Experience
With the arrival of 3G and 4G mobile networks, end-users have been consuming data like crazy. The website must be responsive and work seamlessly on all devices. The overall user experience should be flawless.
With the arrival of 5G mobile networks, more end-users will be consuming data on mobile devices. Search engines have been giving preferences to Mobile-friendly websites. I can not emphasize more on this.
4) Loading Speed
Part of user experience and SEO principles, the website loading speed should be blazing fast. No one wants to wait for pages to load or any query to return an answer.
Your web design and development agency should take care of this by optimizing the pages, images and rest of the content.
You can use various tools to check your website speed e.g. think like google, pingdom, page speed insights by google. Furthermore, if you are in the process of increasing site speed focus on one specific tool rather than using all tools at one time.
5) SEO – On-page
You want your website to be on top of search results. Your bespoke custom web development company should perform all on-page SEO activities like sitemap submissions, SEO tags, and Webmaster linking.
The golden rule is to think about both machines (google, bing, yahoo) and humans (customers & end-users) while creating your website.
6) Social Media
Social media is one of the most powerful tools one can use to create brand awareness, client communication and launch of new products. By allowing users to navigate to your social media platforms from your website can reinforce customer trust and enhance brand visibility.
The key is to be selective with the social media platform. Social media is a vast topic and can be covered in upcoming blogs.
7) Client Trust (Secure Website)
Any building needs a strong foundation to ensure reliability, trust, and longevity. You will always think twice to walk on a rotten wood bridge, the same is the situation with your end-users. They would not register or place any orders if the site is not secure.
Ensure that user data is protected and have all security checks in place. Consider having the website hosted on a secure server, ensure your site has an SSL certificate and finally go one step ahead by having a firewall in place. Your web design and development company should have web server infrastructure specialist inhouse.
I could have gone on and on with 50 different recommendations, but I have managed to focus on the most important ones. Most essential takeaways from this blog should be brand identity, planning and technical know-how of the web design and development company.
Key is to select the correct agency and work with like-minded people, who can feel your brand ethos. At Proton6, we can help you with every step of bespoke custom web design and development.
We specialise in all key areas e.g. planning, design, development, ongoing maintenance, robust web hosting and digital marketing. We are a result-driven web development agency.
If you would like to discuss your projects, feel free to contact us on 0121 296 4626 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.