Strategic Website Design
“Strategic Website Design is the fusion of your organizational goals with every aspect of your website design process.”
Quotes are taken from Strategic Design: 6 Steps for Building Successful Websites – Read the full article at: http://uxdesign.smashingmagazine.com/2008/11/05/strategic-design-6-steps-for-building-successful-websites/
Establish Your website Goals, Purpose and Function
A clear direction is essential if you want your design to have a purpose.
- Be Clear about your organization’s goals.
- Why are you building a website?
- What are you trying to achievewith the new website or redesign?
- What is the website’s main purpose?
“Remember that a website isn’t a piece of art; it’s an interface that serves a function. That function may be to sell products, to deliver informational content, to entertain, to inform, or to provide access to a service. Whatever that function is, your design must focus on fulfilling it”.
Identify Your Audience
Identification of Your Audience is key to how your website should look, feel, and function. Your design will be influenced by many demographics. Consider age, gender, profession and technical competency. Make sure you are clear about who will be using the website.
Match Your Brand Image to your Design Goals
“Think about color. Think about the feel you want to achieve and emotions you wish to elicit. Your design should embody the personality and character of your brand.”
“Your website has a certain feel that makes an impression on your visitors. Decide what that impression should be.”
Make Tour Design Sync With Your Goal Driven Strategy
Possible Goal Example:
- Increase the number of subscribers to your Web service.
Examples of Possible Design Considerations:
- Make the “About” snippet on your landing page as clear and concise as possible. Your visitors must not have any confusion about the function of your website.
- Use color and contrast to make the registration button or link stand out. If people can’t find it, then you won’t get many sign-ups.
- Streamline the registration process by removing unnecessary and optional elements; people can fill those out later. If the form looks long, people may be put off of filling it in.
Your goals may vary, but the strategy is the same: shape and focus all the design elements towards meeting those goals.
The same strategy applies to your Brand and Audience: design the aesthetic that best suits it.
If your website’s focus is entertainment, then create an “experience.” You are free to use a lot of color and imagery to shape that experience.
If you’re designing a website that is focused on information consumption, for example, a blog or a magazine, then focus on usability and readability. Create an interface that fades away and doesn’t distract the user from accessing the content.
There is a Japanese philosophy called “Kaizen,” which focuses on continuous improvement using small steps. “The version you’ve just published is not the final version. There doesn’t even have to be a final version. You can always make improvements, and the very nature of a website will allow you to introduce these at any time.”
Kaizen = gradual and continuous improvements and updates to make your website more effective in serving its function.
For a more in-depth look at what information we need to make sure your website meets our Strategic Website Design guidelines please review our Website Development Questioner