Throughout the years, web design and web development has considerably evolved. If you’re thinking about a new website, it’s worth considering the issues that people didn’t even pay that much attention to a few years ago.
A website, like any other tool in a company’s arsenal, should serve a specific business purpose. The closest and most natural group of objectives for a company website are those in the marketing area, related to sales support and brand building.
When designing a modern business website, you should use the extensive field know-how, which consists of:
1. Psychological Knowledge
Knowledge of your recipient’s mind and way of thinking, how they make decisions, what influences them and how to exert that. From the principles of social influence to psychology of colours. Although we often think we are not so easily affected by outside stimuli, there are proven mechanisms that influence us more than we think. It is worth engaging all of this knowledge in creating a website that says the right things, to the right audience, and in the right way. Then, we can expect more from a website than just a nice and modern design.
2. Sales Techniques
By their very nature, websites can be perfect tools to support sales activities. Extensive information pages – which provide the client with the information about the benefits of products and services and not just their features and parameters – educate the customer in the purchasing process. They can effectively supplement and often replace the salesman at early stages of the sales process. And if so, they can successfully use some of the techniques that actually the best salespeople use.
3. Design, UI & UX
It is a well-known saying that one picture is worth a thousand words. Often, even very complex solutions are much easier to visualise than to describe. You can gain a lot more client’s attention if you place the company’s solutions in the context of beautifully composed graphics, well-thought-out usability and navigation, which leads the user like a hand. We can count on making a considerable impression on the recipient and having him follow us exactly where we want to lead him.
4. Modern Technological Solutions
Web technologies are constantly evolving. Today, a lot can be presented in a web browser. Keeping an eye on the technological pulse is a must for any self-respecting web design company. Technical aspects such as meeting SEO requirements, quick reaction, using proven software solutions, business continuity and security are a must. Technically, you can expect and demand more. Because websites are no longer just websites, they have become tools to support business processes.
Designing a website is a process
To build a website or just a landing page that supports the acquisition of potential customers, it is not enough to use a website builder and a simple keyword analysis.. Nor is it just a matter of what content management system (CMS) you use on your site. In the process of designing a website for usability, you need to consider much more than simple graphics and keyword phrases have to offer. Responsive websites for your business need to evolve as your business grows and take efficiency into account. It is not enough to put up a simple website for a given industry and expect the site to rank well in search engines and attract customers on its own. It takes years of experience and a team of experts to turn a website into a real business support tool.
From target selection and analysis, through defining content/interaction strategies and tactics, to highly persuasive texts, captivating graphic creations, excellent navigation, and finally technical implementation and launching the website online. All this requires teamwork and experts from various fields, whose actions are coordinated by an experienced production manager. Creating a website is a challenging task. Especially if we are talking about websites that are supposed to have an impact on customers. Your concern should not be how much a website costs but whether the company creating the website has enough experience in creating websites and has the right team..
It all starts with a business goal
At the commercial stage, by talking to potential clients about the need for a website and discussing the web development process, we help direct them towards specific goals they want to achieve. We firmly believe that a company website should be a real business support tool. Web design should not happen just because “every business should have a website” or because SEO and presence in search results are the only reasons to create a website.
A new website design should be preceded by the identification of business requirements. Examples of the goals of creating a website might be:
supporting sales activities at specific stages of the sales process
educating customers about products and services
acquiring contacts to potential customers
providing specific formal information to relieve the customer service department
building an image as an industry expert
positioning the company’s website on the Internet
Once we have determined the commercially general design requirements for a website, the design is transferred to the production department, where our five-stage web development process begins.
Stage 1 – Analysis Phase
At this stage, our strategy team conducts workshop meetings with key people from the client’s that will be involved in the website development process. We usually recommend that the key decision makers, owners and managers of the organisation are involved in the process since the beginning. They usually have the best overview of the company’s real situation and can clarify the objectives of the new website project.
We ask a series of detailed questions about the company’s value proposition. We find out which product lines and services are key for the company at the moment and what market positioning does the management want. Furthermore, we want to know if they have ever seen a graphic design that in their opinion will largely reflect the character of the brand. They tell us about how they perceive their customers, who exactly these customers are, and what value they believe they derive from the collaboration. We ask for hypotheses about how buying decisions are made on the customer side. What information might be key for them and what they will be looking for when they go to the website. And then we conduct similar research among the client’s customers. We find out exactly what they value the company for, what is particularly important to them, what they are really willing to pay for.
We also gather all the necessary graphic, video and other website content that the client thinks should go on the website.
Stage 2 – The Strategic Phase
Creating a website must be preceded not only by a good analysis, but also by the development of a proper strategy. Within this framework, on the basis of information obtained from the analytical phase, the strategic team responsible for modern websites connect all the dots and develops a strategy.
In order for the creation of your company’s websites to be truly goal-oriented, the following issues, among others, should be included in the strategy:
1. Value proposition
Determining exactly what real value customers are paying for. What is it that makes them want to use the company’s products and services. In other words, what benefits does the company deliver or what customer problems does it solve.
If at this point you think that your company is distinguished by innovation, high quality or years of experience, then these are not the values in question.
2. Customer segmentation
Precise definition of the audience group’s communication is absolutely key. A common mistake is to insist on building websites addressed to a wide range of online audiences. Only by clearly defining your customer segments can you build communication on your website that precisely hits your audience profile. If you are talking too broadly, everything and to everyone within your website, then you are not talking to anyone. Web design should be done with a clearly defined audience in mind.
3. The decision-making model
For the success of a website, knowing how the website audience makes decisions is key. Web design should therefore take into account how the viewer behaves and thinks when browsing the site. Considering the purchase of a product or service, he usually did his research on the Internet and already took into consideration many sites competing with ours. So if we have taken care of aiming at direct user to look at our site, it is worth taking maximum advantage of this fact, understanding their intentions and needs.
4. Reason To Believe
When browsing websites, customers should get confirmation that a given company is actually able to solve the problem they are facing. Websites must therefore contain elements and “proofs of concept” that will convince the recipient that this company should be trusted.
5. Insight – Tension
Websites that can precisely target the most important motivations and sensitivities of the recipients are websites that can proverbially “break the bank”. Here we determine the communication sensitivity of the recipients.
6. The path to purchase
The website, its specific sub-pages, transitions and interactions between them should be carefully planned. You should think carefully about what should be on the home page, what sections it should contain, where and how to direct the user to your company’s website. Ideally, the page should be created so that the journey to conversion takes the user no further than three clicks.
7. Strategic idea
This is the main communication idea, showing the direction and nature of communication in the competitive struggle.
8. Conversion tactics and creative idea
Communication tactics and the choice of means to carry out activities. A set of sociotechnical and technical measures which will be used to make it possible for the website to achieve the business goal set for it.
When realising a strategy for websites, we take into account the above issues, and the culmination of this stage is the presentation of the strategy for the website in front of the client. It is at this stage that we suggest to clients which product groups should be highlighted. What specific purchase paths should be taken from the perspective of the clients’ web pages. We determine how to present the client’s concerns, how the company can solve them, and from what perspective we should show. We present a complete site map with the sections of each individual page and their content. Likewise, we propose a content management system, take into account page positioning (SEO), general guidelines which the graphic design should meet, and take into account that it should be a responsive website designed not only for mobile devices but also for desktop computers.
If the client accepts the strategy for the website, we can move on to the next phase of creating the website.
Stage 3 – Website content tactics
When we have a website strategy accepted by the client, we can move on to the first phase of implementation. Based on the concepts developed in the strategy, we begin creating texts (copywriting) and mock-ups of WWW pages. The effect of such activity at this stage of website creation is a set of all pages which a website can have. Regardless of whether there are 15 or 55 such pages, each of them will have the final content prepared and the mock-ups in grey shades will present the distribution of text and other content within the sections on the pages. At this stage, the client will already have a very precise plan of all the elements of the website which will be placed on the target page.
At this stage, the website is presented in the form of a clickable prototype, which the client can navigate.
Stage 4 – design, graphic design
Having thought through all the previous issues and having a precise idea of what elements and how they will be arranged on the website, we can start creating a graphic design. It is only at this stage that the website starts to take colour. We embed photo and video materials, possible animations, target texts, product photos or process visualisations on the pages. This is where all the eye-catching magic that traditional web design is most often associated with happens. At this stage, in the collective pages, you can see how all responsive websites will look like.
Creating websites at this stage boils down to another presentation of a collective view of all pages, subpages and forms of the website, but in full target graphics. A website presented in such a way is passed on for acceptance or for introducing possible corrections. After the client’s approval, the website is handed over to the last phase of website creation – development.
Stage 5 – Website development, technical implementation
Having accepted the final views which the website will have, we can put the work into the hands of the programmers. Here, a team of specialists will transfer the developed visualisations to the website and will make sure that it is a responsive website, displayed in browsers exactly as designed by the web designer. Website creation at this stage is purely technical and consists in embedding graphics in the code. All animations and functionalities are programmed, which are to be fulfilled by the website from a technical point of view and in accordance with the strategic assumptions. At this point, integration with other systems (e.g. CRM) and configuration of the modules necessary for optimal operation also takes place. After launching the content management system, the implemented website is transferred for internal testing. After passing internal verification, the website is presented to the client in a development environment.
If the client accept it, the website is launched in the production environment. It is secured, backup and monitored by active systems. All necessary analytical and reporting tools are set up.
At this stage, web design ends. The client is given access passwords and is trained to use and make simple updates on the website.
As can be seen from the above proven process, website creation is not only a technical programming activity. Much more substantively valuable and business-relevant work takes place in the first stages of the web development process
So if you’re wondering how much it costs to create a website to match today’s capabilities, take note of the huge amount of work involved and the need for an interdisciplinary team. If you not only want to be high in the Google search results, but also to have a real impact on the audience of your website, verify whether the company you choose to build your website is up to the task.