The Web Design Project – Who Does What?

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The Web Design Project - Who Does What graphicTruly successful web design projects are a collaboration of your product/services expertise with our design and usability expertise.

As The Client, trying to find a template or create your own design using PowerPoint won’t help us as much as providing information on your organization’s strengths and specific goals for the website. Successful web projects tend to break down to the following division of responsibilities:

The Client:
As we haven’t worked a single day at your company, we have no way to know enough about your goals, market or business to create effective content.

We understand you’re already “sold” on your own organization–but we bring the outsider’s perspective, meaning we have to make the outsider as enthused about your product or service as you. We assume you’re pretty good at what you do, so this is the time to brag–don’t be shy! We need to know exactly why someone should choose your company over Brand X.

What differentiates you from your competition?

What are your key advantages? Answers like “quality, delivery, and price” generally don’t help–your competitors aren’t going to admit to making a second-rate product that’s overpriced and ships whenever they get around to it!

If you don’t have someone experienced in writing copy for the web, that’s fine. If you provide some key sales points and advantages over competitors, we can offer editing and copywriting services. With SEO, we probably need to edit your copy anyway. But you’re the expert when it comes to your target market, and we need your insight regardless of who authors the content.

Blitz Media Design:
You may be aware that our slogan is “Designing for Results.” That is the basis of our design decisions–what design elements will produce the best results for our clients. Creating an easy-to-use site that immediately delivers your most compelling message matters far more than colors or logo size. We also design to multiple points of view–it’s likely the site needs to be just as effective on a smartphone as a 30″ monitor.

Our team lives in the world of responsive design, white space, the golden ratio, typography, usability, analytics, and all those geeky web acronyms/languages like CSS, CMS, JS, SEO, SEM, HTML5, jQuery, PHP/MySQL… things that make our wives’ eyes glaze over with boredom!

We’re continually reading up on the latest Google Penguin updates, responsive design coding, CSS3, web usability studies, and other stuff that can make your head hurt.

Every site has different design requirements. Selling a product, trying to influence opinion or gain members, or serving as an information resource requires its own approach. Some sites want you to phone, some fill out a form to request info or a quote, and others click a “Buy Now” button.

So in the end, we have good reasons for our design decisions that have nothing to do with what we like, but everything to do with our experience in matching our client’s goals with their target market’s needs.

The Client’s “Design” Role:
We don’t expect you to accept a design you don’t like, or to have no say in the aesthetics. If you don’t like our design concept, feel free to be blunt–we can take it. But before we even start, we’ll have asked lots of questions, so your answers and goals led us to the design we submitted. Our questions are likely to include:

  • What are your goals for the website? While “sell our products” might seem the obvious answer, your audience and intended use impacts design decisions.
  • What are the web addresses of your main competitors, and are there parts of those sites you feel are effective for your market? We want to understand your competitors and create a design that stands out from theirs while doing a better job of meeting the needs of the target audience.

Please note that those questions contain nothing about your favorite colors, what type of buttons do you want for the menu, or anything else that you might think is part of “design.” The only graphic-related questions we may ask are likely to be along the lines of:

  • What are a (very) few websites you like, and why do you like them? We only want this info to help us understand your aesthetic preferences. As pointed out above, design requirements differ depending on site objectives, so what you like on another site may not be the right approach for yours.
  • Do you have appropriate, high-quality images or videos that will help sell your products or services? Not every product or service lends itself to photos or videos, so we’ll probably discuss some alternatives.

We’ll use your answers to develop a site design that delivers your most compelling sales message quickly, and makes it easy for the visitor to take the next step (becoming your new customer).

In summary, the successful web design project is a collaboration of our respective expertise. Just as you have excellent reasons behind how you provide your products or services, our design recommendations are not subjective, but based upon ongoing research and experience.

Written by Craig de Fasselle

June 13th, 2013 at 10:24 am

Posted in Design,Web Tips

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