Great web design must be user friendly – every feature must be thought through carefully. If something is too complex or confusing, it might as well not be there. Web sites should look professional and relevant to your company’s branding.
An effective website will:
Say something about your company
Improve your revenue
Have clear navigation
Have engaging content
Here are our top 5 tips for a great website design for your company:
Write clean code. This is not just for others, but for yourself too. It is much easier to find code gone wrong when everything is properly organised and written out. Make sure the format you choose to write in is consistently applied across everything you do. And for when others are tasked to look at your code, they can then have an easier time figuring out what is going on and how to change it. Adding appropriate comments to your code also helps.
Read up on Web Standards. What’s the latest new spec for an HTML5 module? How well supported is it? Will that CSS3 styling code work with IE9? Do the research, as it will help out enormously when doing your latest project and being able to manage the expectations of your clients. Being aware of developments and when certain features reach the critical mass for adoption helps immensely when planning projects and what you can realistically provide for your clients.
Know your Browser(s) IE10 is a different beast to IE9, and so forth. Are you aware of styling fixes specifically for Firefox? Or are you aware of a Google Chrome bug regarding text-rendering and font-variant? Doing the research into the various idiosyncrasies of the main browsers will help incredibly when working on your project, as being aware of all the pitfalls allows to do your styling code to be browser-proof before you reach the quality assurance testing stage of a project. It’ll also inform you of what is possible and what isn’t possible with certain browsers, with what standards they support and what they don’t.
Pick Your Poison! Make sure you choose the right system for your project, not only in terms of what it is able to achieve from its available features, but also on what you are familiar with! There’s no point in picking Drupal if all you know is Joomla! and WordPress. You also won’t have much success with doing a portfolio website with Magento. Or is the client going to require a bespoke system for their niche market? Maybe a static website will do! Everything becomes clear and easier once you know exactly what the requirements are and what you can do.
Test, test and test some more! There’s never enough testing to be done. Be sure to run through your website many times across as many browsers as possible as you build your website so you catch any browser specific bugs early before it gets too entrenched within your code. Even small changes can go horribly wrong in one browser, but not another. It pays to constantly check your code.