Your website design and development choices can determine how successful you are with the online aspect of your business, regardless of whether you already have a website or are starting from scratch.
If you own a business, it’s crucial that you have an understanding of website design and development. Your website is just as important to your business as a brick-and-mortar store. It helps people form an opinion of your brand and can increase (or decrease) your sales numbers.
You know that you need a website, but it’s not enough to just have one– you need the right website. Web design and development are the two tools you’ll use to get a functional, aesthetically pleasing site that’ll entice visitors to learn more about your brand and ready to make a purchase.
What’s the Difference Between Website Design and Development?
Although the terms web design and web development are frequently used interchangeably and do compliment one another, they are not the same.
Design focuses on the user, whereas development focuses on the designer, making this distinction between the two simple. However, both aim to build a website that consumers will find useful and appealing from an aesthetic standpoint.
Website design is user-focused. It has to do with what a user sees and how they engage with the website. Design can be thought of as visuals and interaction, and it’s frequently produced with the use of a visual design application like Adobe. Design also includes concepts like UI and UX, which we’ll cover in more detail later.
Development can be viewed as the work done in the background. It’s all of the coding and programming that happens in the background that makes the web design become a live website. Front-end and back-end are also part of web development. Below, we will discuss these in further detail.
Why Website Design and Development Are Important for Your Business
Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar with a website looking to expand your online presence or if your business only operates online, your website is an essential component of your business. . It serves as a reflection of your business and, for some clients, is your only opportunity to leave a strong first impression.
Just as you wouldn’t want your customers to come into your storefront if it was messy, disorganized, or poorly designed, you also don’t want your customers trying to navigate an outdated, unprofessional website.
Your website should represent your brand – an accounting agency’s site will look much different than a brand that sells toys for toddlers. It should also load quickly and be simple to use and navigate. Users will form a positive opinion of your company when they have a positive experience with your website.
Web Design and Development Should Be Part of Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Creating optimized content is just one aspect of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or making sure your site ranks in search engines, even if you may have already invested a lot of effort in producing useful content that your visitors will enjoy. SEO largely depends on the development and design of your site.
For instance, users (and search engine bots) will struggle to understand the purpose of your site if it is challenging to navigate. If it’s busy or employs hard-to-read colours or fonts, visitors will turn away. A higher bounce rate leads to lower SEO.
Main Aspects of Web Design and Development
Below are some of the main features of web design and development to keep in mind when designing (or redesigning) a website. Each of these components must be carefully considered in order to guarantee that customers not only find your website but also stay on it and carry out the actions you want them to.
User Interface (UI)
UI focuses on all the ways a user interacts with a website. It includes things like buttons and links and also text and images. It’s all the small elements of a website – each must be designed individually, but all must come together to form a cohesive site, as seen next in UX.
User Experience (UX)
One of the most important aspects of web design is UX. As its name suggests, it is concerned with how a user interacts with your website. It involves how they use the website and whether they find it intuitive or confusing. UX is all about the user’s overall experience as they interact with the elements developed in the UI, making the two deeply interconnected.
How visitors move across your site is referred to as navigation. It relates to where menus, home buttons, and internal connections are located and how they work. For several reasons, you want your website to be as simple to use as possible.
The first goal is to keep visitors on your website. The likelihood of conversion increases with user retention. Additionally, when visitors stay on your site for a long period, it tells Google that you have quality content on your site, which can help you rank higher.
The average human’s attention span is around eight seconds. We have high expectations for how quickly a page should load thanks to high-speed internet. Visitors will hit the back button and look elsewhere if your page isn’t lightning fast. Both design and development involve using the right ideas and the right tools to keep your site light and fast.
Mobile phones make up about 54% of all web traffic. If you aren’t designing your website to look good on any device – mobile, desktop, and tablet – then your visitors may be going elsewhere.
Check out your website on your smartphone. You need to make changes if it’s difficult to understand, navigate, or just doesn’t look good visually.
Due to Google’s recognition of the importance of mobile responsiveness, mobile-friendly websites now rank better in search results.
Clear Calls to Action
You have a goal for the customers who visit your site. You may want them to make a purchase, subscribe to your mailing list, or book a consultation. You must have calls to action (CTAs) for your site that are obvious and consistent, regardless of the desired activity.
For example, if you want visitors to sign up for your newsletters, you need to make it as easy as possible to do so. The CTA needs to be visible and easy to find. The design should guide your visitors directly to the CTA.
Works on All Browsers
You definitely don’t want a website that loads quickly on Safari but breaks in Chrome. A web developer will guarantee that your website will display and work flawlessly across all browsers.
There are a variety of ways to establish your brand across your site. By using your logo along with specific colours, fonts, and image types, you can keep your website on-brand. Everything about your website should clearly communicate the unique product or service that your company offers.
You want your website to be accessible to everyone who visits it, including those with disabilities. Follow an accessibility checklist to make sure everyone gets the most from your site.
Your website’s primary purpose is to give your visitors useful information. But visual design is also vital. Web design aesthetic trends are continuously changing. Your website has to keep up with these trends while also staying true to your brand.
Your website should be engaging in every way. Your website needs to keep visitors’ interest if you want them to convert to customers. Visitors will browse your site extensively and convert if your content is strong and your design is pleasing to the eye.
Just as search engines try to intuit what users want and point them to it, an intuitive site will guide users to complete the desired action. For example, your site may have a blog post that recommends other posts and pages on your site that a customer is likely to move to next.
Your site may also be able to predict where a visitor is in the sales funnel and guide them accordingly.
Design and Content Work Together
An intuitive website will direct users to carry out the intended action, much like search engines attempt to predict what people want and point them in that direction. For instance, your website might feature a blog post that suggests more blog posts and pages that a visitor is likely to navigate to next.
Additionally, your website might be able to anticipate a visitor’s position in the sales funnel and direct them accordingly.
Error prevention is one of the main objectives of website creation. However, errors will still occur. Error management is one of the greatest development practices; it refers to what your website informs a visitor of when there is an error. Visitors will become frustrated if there is no error notice or if it is unclear or useless. Correct error handling can improve UX overall.
If your website contains any forms, you want them to work properly and be easy to use. Users shouldn’t have to go through any hassles in order to submit a form, whether you’re asking for their email so you can offer them a discount or their pertinent information so you can finish a transaction.
Forms should be easy to find and should only require relevant information. Don’t ask for more information than is necessary. Forms should also be clear on what the user is required to do. Other helpful features include ones that move the cursor to the next tab automatically.
Website Design and Development: KPIs to Consider
It’s nice to have a beautifully designed website, but it’s crucial to check to see if visitors are truly converting the way you want them to. Key performance indicators (KPIs) come in many different forms.
The main KPI you’ll want to look at is conversion rate or the number of people who complete the desired action on your website vs. the total number of people who visit. This KPI is crucial since if your website isn’t converting, it doesn’t matter how many visitors you have.
Other crucial factors include bounce rate and session length. The number of individuals that view your website but take no action is known as the “bounce rate.” Google will think your site is not useful if your bounce rate is high. You can determine how long visitors stay on your website by looking at the session duration.
These three KPIs might help you determine the effectiveness of your design.
The Importance of Iteration
Perhaps you introduced a fantastic website a few years ago. Maybe you launched a great website in the past few months. No matter when your site was launched, iteration is a crucial component of your web design. The technological world advances swiftly, so it’s important to keep up if you want to remain competitive.
A website that was cutting edge two years ago is out of date today. Even though it still appears great to you, people who frequently use the internet think it is out of date. People’s views of UX alter throughout time as a result of how quickly the internet evolves. To stay up to date, you must frequently update.
Your work doesn’t end when a new website is launched. After a few months, you’ll have a ton of data, and you’ll be able to observe what works and what doesn’t. You must iterate if you want to continue increasing and improving your KPIs.
Your design and development decisions can affect how successful you are with the online component of your business, regardless of whether you already have a website or are starting from scratch. Whether you are looking to invest in the marketing of your manufacturing company, are a local service provider, or a small business, you need to ensure that your website delivers.
Both web design and development can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with building websites. If you’re ready to create a website that delights your visitors and leads to more conversions, our team of Montreal web designers are here to help. As a leading SEO agency in Montreal, not only can we build you an eye catching website, but we can help you rank higher on search engine results pages. Contact us today so we can discuss what we can do for you.