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Design

sketch of this site's portfolio page
Sketch used in creating design for this site's portfolio page.

Design matters

Research has demonstrated that visitors use a website’s appearance as a factor when deciding whether or not to trust it. So design is a very important step when building a website. During the design phase, we work with our clients to create a modern and user-friendly site.  

Current but custom

A part of how users view a site is whether or not its style matches current trends. An outdated site may lead visitors to question if the information on it is still accurate and otherwise question the site. We work to stay up-to-date on design trends so that our sites match current styles.

Of course, within trends we also consider our clients’ audiences and how they will view various trends. Ripped jeans have their place, but that doesn’t mean they’re appropriate for a conservative office. We apply similar considerations when designing for our clients: will their audience perceive a design trend positively.

Client input is critical

Our design process typically begins with a meeting to clarify and confirm the client’s needs and desired aesthetic. The design meeting usually focuses on what the client likes and does not like about their current site and what they want in their new site. With the client’s input, we identify the most important aspects of the site. This lets us highlight and draw attention to those areas in the new design. We recognize that aesthetic preferences vary by individual, which is why we put in the time to learn what our clients like and don’t.

Google Analytics review

Depending on the project, we sometimes take one additional step before actually mocking up a website: we conduct a review of the client’s Google Analytics account. This can provide us useful insights, like which pages are the most popular and what devices visitors use frequently. This information further informs our design process and helps us to focus on the most popular pages and devices. 

Finding your style

Once we have a solid understanding of what a client wants, we begin our design work. To start, we create a few homepage mockups. The client then chooses their favorite of the designs. From there, we’ll go through a few rounds of edits as we refine and finalize the design, giving the client an opportunity to provide input at each step. Based on the chosen homepage, we build out the rest of the subpages for the site. 

Prototype where needed

Once our clients approve a design, we may create a rough prototype with a few clickable areas. This can serve as a final check before development starts. We sometimes also ask a few of the client’s users to review the prototype so they can identify any pain points we overlooked. Spending this additional time testing and prototyping before development can help identify problems at a time when we can more easily correct them. This can ultimately save time by reducing the need to redo time-consuming development work. Whether or not we create a prototype will depend on budget and if we have some reason for concern about the usability of certain aspects of the design.

If you’re interested in starting a project with us, or want to learn more about how we handle design, please reach out in the form below.

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