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Web Design

We do not begin any design until the research phase is complete. We use the information gathered by our Digital Marketing Blureprint to develop wireframes that display how your site’s user interface will be laid out.

This usually includes 3 to 5 views including the homepage, subpages, blog pages, and any other custom pages you need. A wireframe is a page schematic or screen blueprint; it is a visual guide that represents the skeletal framework of a website.

Wireframe Examples

Web Design and Development Wireframe ExamplesWireframes help us communicate how the site is displayed to the visitor without us focusing on the visual bling of the finished design. With a wireframe we can iterate through different solutions quickly so that all user-interface considerations are effectively addressed across desktop, tablet, and mobile phone screen sizes.

This is the stage where we layout all of your photo galleries, member registration area, discussion forums, contact form, product pages and ecommerce store.

At this stage it is important to have all of your content ready because it has a significant impact on how the content should be laid out and the structure of the navigation and sitemap. This also makes it faster to load the content into the website database before the website is complete so that the content doesn’t delay the launch.

We will keyword optimize your meta tags which include the description, title, and alt tags.

If you can’t provide the content by this stage, we strongly suggest having us create the content for you. We are experts at content creation, and we work through a specific process of keyword research and SEO implementation that helps your site rank higher on Google and other search engines.

The final design stage includes the development of high-fidelity comps that include all the bling and visual bells and whistles you require. This includes designs for desktop, tablet, and smartphone screen sizes. It also includes up to two rounds of revisions.

Web Development

Once the design is nailed down, the building process begins. We use only programming languages that are based on well-accepted standards and best practices. We build all of our sites with HTML5, CSS, JavaScript and JavaScript libraries such as jQuery, MooTools, and Bootstrap, Ajax, PHP and MySQL.

WordPress Theme Development

We will use WordPress as your content management system (CMS) so you can easily update the content yourself. WordPress is crucial because not only is it the most popular CMS in the world, but it has thousands of developers that constantly maintain and improve the core infrastructure and thousands of plugins that extend its functionality beyond what any other CMS can do.

We’ll install WordPress on your server, set up the administration panel for you and then create a custom WordPress theme that will mirror the design we created for you.

We also install a specific set of plugins that automatically backup the database, implement security measures, provide SEO tools, and manage your social media integration.

Initially, your site will include about 5 to 10 static pages. Static pages are pages where the content rarely changes. These pages typically include the homepage, about us, services, our team, contact us, etc. Once the site launches you will be able to add any number of pages to the navigation and sidebars as needed using WordPress’s user-friendly backend interface.

We will also construct a blog for you where you can post any news, information, stories, etc. that you would like to present and disseminate to your audience. The structure of the blog will include any necessary elements such as social media integration, pagination, search, comment area, etc. It will also be navigable by tags, categories, author, date, etc.

The website will also include any necessary email and newsletter sign up forms, and we can integrate software such as MailChimp or Constant Contact.

What is Web Design? And what does a Web Designer Do?

  1. A website is a visual and contextual representation of information.
  2. A website differs from other forms of communication in that it links different pieces of information together.
  3. The purpose of web design is to create informational user experiences.
  4. Web designer is responsible for determining how to create this informational user experience.

Bing, bang, boom … boom.

You might be asking yourself how I arrived at these four points. In essence, you’re asking yourself what exactly is web design and what is a web designer supposed to do. Well, it depends on who’s asking.

That’s not a typo or an error in logic. If a person interested in becoming a web designer asks that question, I would respond in a different way than I’m going to respond to you now. I’m assuming you are a business owner that’s trying to understand how web design relates to you and your business.

So the questions you should be asking are what is the point of it all? What is the purpose of web design? What is the meaning of life? Okay, maybe not that last thing, that’s a question for Morgan Freeman.

the purpose of web design is to create informational user experiences

To answer the first two questions let’s look at what you already know about a websites. A website displays text, images, video, audio, maybe interactive elements, links to internal information, links to external information, etc.

But let’s examine what this means. What does this tells us about the purpose of a website? What is the common theme among these elements? Which one of these elements is not like the other? Ha! That last one is a trick question. But if you guessed that each element presents information you win a trip to Jamaica. Okay not really. But you’re right.

A website is about providing information to the visitor/user in the best possible and most efficient manner. Each of these elements is a representation of information. So if we were to define a website, we could say that a website is a visual and contextual representation of information.

How is a website different from other forms of communication? Obviously, we can say that a website is displayed on a computer’s browser, or a cell phone’s browser while other forms of communication might involve paper or vocal chords, yada, yada. But a website is much more than that. A website can connect certain pieces of information with other information in the form of links. A website can also customize the presentation of information to different users; this is called the user experience or UX.

In a nutshell, the purpose of web design is to create informational user experiences, a term defined by Morten Rand-Hendriksen, author of several books articles and videos about web design. We can then say that a web designer is responsible for determining how to create this informational user experience.

What is the web design process?          

So now that you know what web design is, what a website is and what a web designer does, you might be asking, “What is the web design process?” Well, in the question itself is part of the answer. Since a process is a series of step or phases, we know that the web design process involves a series of steps or phases. Simple enough, right?

So what are these phases? Here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Pre-process
  2. Planning Content Strategy
  3. Pre-Build Testing
  4. Content, Design, Development 1st Round
  5. Post-Build Testing
  6. Content, Design, Development 2nd Round
  7. Launch and Reset.

This is by no means a straight line from start to finish. Instead the web design process is circular. Take a look at this graphic created by Rand-Hendriksen:

Web Design Process

As Hendrickson notes, these phases form a completed circle with the last phase being “launch and reset” (AKA get your website live and then start over). Notice that this points back to Content Strategy, not Pre-process. Pre-process is really only needed once. However, a website is never done. It’s constantly evolving. It is in a sense a living organism (Hendriksen). Once you’ve finished the process, you need to start all over again.

It’s all about the bass,’ bout the bass, no treble.

In other words, you don’t matter. Dang, that’s harsh! Now that I’ve told you that you have to repeat the web design process over and over and over, I’m now saying that you don’t matter? What gives?

Well, let’s look at a traditional business plan. If you were to go to an investor and request funding for your start up, what is one of the very first questions they ask? Besides where’s the money. They ask, “Who’s your target market?”

Target market, target market, target market! The only thing that matters is your target market. If you don’t know what a target market is then the exits are located in the back, the sides, and the front of this plane.

What’s important to us what this mean for web design? How does this translate?

Your visitors/users are your target market. If you’re selling John Deer tractors, your target market is farmers, do-it-yourselfers, mostly men, probably between the ages of 40 – 60. That’s just a guesstimate but it will work for our purposes.

So you need to know how to communicate with this particular group of visitors just as you would in the offline world. This is all self-explanatory so you’re probably wondering why I’m telling you something you already know.

The online and offline world function with the same logic.

Believe it or not, once folks start talking about the online world, they tend to throw out all the common sense they know about the offline world. There is this belief that these two worlds are distinct and that they are not at all similar.

However, they function with the exact same logic.

Let’s look at the John Deer example and why you don’t matter. Let’s say that you’re a woman and that you got into the John Deer tractor selling business simply to make money. You have no strong feelings about tractors except that you can make money selling them. Let’s also say that your favorite color is pink. And that you really want this website to be pink.

For the no brainer question of the day, should you make your website pink? If you said yes, then the exits are located in the back, the sides, and the front of this plane.

Obviously, the answer is HECK NO! Your target market of mostly male farmers and do-it-yourselfers between the ages of 40 and 60 won’t be caught dead looking at a pink site. No matter how pretty it is. Watch how fast that laptop slams shut!

This is very simple and easy to understand question so let me give you a much more precise example in regards to web design. Again let’s discuss John Deer.

There are constantly new and flashy things that you can do with a website. And for years there was one flashy thing that so many website owners did that drove visitors CRAZY. Do you remember intro pages? You’d go to a website’s homepage or what you thought would be their homepage only to be greeted with a sign saying “Loading, please wait…” And then after waiting you were treated to either the companies animate logo, or some weird things about some whatever the heck.

Let me ask you, if you wanted to buy a John Deer tractor and you went to JohnDeer.com and then you had to sit through some animation that took a while to load, would you be happy? No. Not even if you were the biggest John Deer fan alive.

These things were a total waste of time and money. And for what? Many of these businesses just wanted to show how cool they were. They ignored their target market and what their target market wanted which was quick access to information.

What you want is IRRELEVANT!

So that brings us back to why you don’t matter. What you want is IRRELEVANT! It’s all about what the USER wants. If you can accept this, you can build a great site that will generate business. If you can’t, well then the exits are located in the back, the sides, and the front of this plane.

So what have we learned today kids? We learned that:

  1. a website is a visual and contextual representation of information
  2. a website differs from other forms of communication in that it links different pieces of information together.
  3. the purpose of web design is to create informational user experiences
  4. web designer is responsible for determining how to create this informational user experience
  5. there are seven steps involved in the web design process
    1. Pre-process
    2. Planning Content Strategy
    3. Pre-Build Testing
    4. Content, Design, Development 1st Round
    5. Post-Build Testing
    6. Content, Design, Development 2nd Round
    7. Launch and Reset.
  6. and that as long as you realize that you don’t matter, that It’s all about the bass,’ bout the bass, no treble, you’ll do great.

And of course, if you’re now terrified and need a friendly helping hand, contact us now. We’re here to help with web design in San Diego.

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