The term “web design” is usually used to describe the design process relating to the front-end (the side that the client sees) design of a website. In smaller companies or one-man businesses, the web designer is also responsible for creating the programming code, also known as mark up. This is fine if you are content with a static, “online business card” type of website. However, as every architect knows, a beautiful building is supported by a technically solid foundation, and as website architects we take pride in developing both web design and web engineering hand-in-hand.
A minimum of three experts are deployed on each project:
- A web designer – responsible for the front-end aspect, which includes the layout, coloring and typography.
- A graphic artist, responsible for customised photography and image design.
- A web engineer – responsible for the technical or back-end aspect, which includes the coding and mark up.
TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES
Depending on which stage of the production process we are involved in, we use a variety of different tools. Although the basic principles behind them remain the same, they are continually being updated by newer standards and we often attend training to keep up with the improvements. Some of our many tools are:
- Vector and raster graphics packages to create web-formatted imagery and design prototypes
- Hand-coding and WYSIWYG editing software to create browser mark-up
- Proprietary plug-in software to create applications that bypass browser software
- Search engine optimisation tools to check search engine rankings and suggest improvements
- Mark-up validators and other testing tools to ensure compliance with usability and accessibility guidelines
SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES
In a sense, we have to be “Jacks of All Trades” to be masters of effective website architecture. Here are a few of the skills that we use on a daily basis:
MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION DESIGN
Firstly, we identify what will work for your target market by determining who your audience is and what trends are influencing them.
We also need to understand the type of website that we are designing, for example, a B2B (business-to-business) website will have totally different design considerations to a consumer-targeted website such as a retail or entertainment website.
It is essential to ensure that the aesthetics and overall design of the website do not clash with the clarity and accuracy of the content and the ease of navigation.
At all times, we ensure that you are portrayed favorably and that the website is a valuable enhancement to your reputation and brand.
USER INTERFACE DESIGN
If a user experiences a website as intuitive, they are more likely to continue using it. By contrast, users are unlikely to return to a website with a less intuitive interface. It is therefore essential to ensure a positive user experience and ease of access regardless of user skill.
User experience incorporates layout, clear instructions and labelling, as well as the interactive design of the website.
If you would like to meet our team and inspect our facilities, please make an appointment for an introductory consultation.