Our approach to web design involves a comprehensive strategy that accounts for:
- Assessing and promoting the project's objectives.Not all sites are created equal, or for the same purpose. From brand promotion to lead generation to direct sales the objective of a web site has an impact on the design and presentation of the content.
- Incorporating an easy content management system, either custom developed or with Third Party applications.While applications such as WordPress are common among our clients and our development team has vast experience working with them, we have also built our own custom CMS (content management system) designed specifically for small business sites with fewer than 50 content pages.Not that our own CMS couldn't handle more pages by any means, but 50 is the tipping point we've found where the project will benefit more from an application such as WordPress.So why have we invested in developing our own CMS at all? In working with clients over the years we discovered that the learning curve and added bloat "under the hood" of most Third Party applications came with multiple negative impacts on smaller sites, from an unfriednly user experience for the client to slower page speeds for their visitors. Our CMS has been designed to specifically address these negatives.
- Creating (or conforming to) a Brand Style Guide.When it comes to your brand, consistency is everything. A good brand style guide lays out the rules for everything from logos and imagery to typography and color choices.For more information and resources on the importance and creation of a brand style guide we reccomend visiting Venngage's Brand Kit page.
- Mobile First coding that ensures delivery of the best version possible of the site to visitors regardless of the device or platform they visit from.We don't build a great looking design then try to stuff it into a small screen for mobile visitors. Frankly, that's unproductive and abusive to mobile users who make up well more than half of all Internet traffic now. We also don't comform to the outdated mid-2000's thinking that a web site should look the same across all devices. That too was abusive to mobile users.Our philosophy is that a web site should maintain its brand style while serving up the best content experience possible to users based on whatever device they're accessing it from.Another way to describe that is with the buzz term "progressive enhancement". Basically, mobile devices have a different set of strengths and parameters than a laptop or desktop does, and also often eat up user's data allowances. Therefore, we design to the mobile user first for the best experience possible on their device and with sensitivity to their data usage, and then on larger screens and devices we add additional enhancements into the design where they make sense and help deliver the best possible experience on these larger devices as well.For more information about Mobile First as a design strategy we encourage you to read this Search Engine Watch article.
- Semantic markup that helps search engines to know exactly what the content is about for improved rankings.Semantic markup is code that provides meaning "under the hood" to your data and content. Just as your actual content communicates your message to visitors, semantic markup helps to communicate your message to machines, software, and search engines in a more effictive manner.
- Accessabillity validation ensuring the site is friendly and usable to people with disabilities.Nobody starts a project thinking "how can I exclude one billion people?" But if a site isn't designed with accessability in mind that's exactly what it does. Unfortunately, making a web site conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines is not a simple or fast task.The time and effort required often raises the costs of projects which leads some site owners to drop it from their requirements, and sadly even some designers and design shops to offer what we call "almost accessible" products as a lower cost offering. The problem with that of course is that almost accessible actually means not accessible so the end result is still a billion people being excluded from using your site properly.For more information about accessible design and why it is so important we recommend this Medium article.
For information on how BanProNET can help you with your next design project please Contact Us.