7 Elements of Successful Web Design

Successful websites start with a clear goal and objective. The foundation of a site is its content: text,  photos and video. A pleasing design and usable interface makes the content accessible, interesting and creates a positive user experience. SEO and marketing strategies are what brings traffic to the site. Tracking and follow up completes the cycle and informs us what is working and what areas need further work and development.

1) Goals & Objectives

  • The purpose or end result that the site is designed to achieve.

  • A conversion is what happens when a user completes some action that moves them from an anonymous browser to a know lead or customer. Conversion goals and captures are concrete, measurable indications that the site has fulfilled its purpose.

  • Goals will be either primary, as in a sale, or secondary as in an email sign up.

  • Examples: a sale or purchase, a phone call, contact by email, email newsletter sign-ups, etc.

2) Content

  • The writing, pictures, video, and audio that make up a site.

  • Quality and relevance of the content is key.

  • Content must be structured, organized, categorized, tagged and indexed, this process creates  ‘information architecture’

  • Quality content is the foundation of SEO.

    • Search engines want to present their users with the most relevant, up-to-date and useful information relative to their search.

    • Search engines reward good content and punish attempts to manipulate.

3) User Interface (UI)

User interface design is a combination of three equally important areas:

  • Structural

    • The bones of a site: Headers, footers, sidebars, content areas, responsiveness

    • The organizational container: Coding, content management systems, databases.

    • Skills that come in handy: PHP, CSS, Javascript, HTML, and all the other coding languages for server application, development and deployment.

  • Functional

    • What a site does, its interactive components, elements that require or invite a user interaction.

    • Menus, buttons, sliders, tabs, etc

    • Plugins, programs, apps

    • Examples: Mailing lists, events calendars, contact forms, eCommerce, galleries, etc.

  • Aesthetics & Art

    • The visual impact of the site, how it looks and feels.

    • Branding, Logos, graphics

    • Colors schemes, icons and typography

4) User Experience (UX)

  • UX is the subjective quality and ease of a person’s experience as they use the interface to access the content and move toward completing the goals of the site.

  • User experience design pre-thinks human interaction with the site and attempts to make the experience positive, intuitive, enjoyable and directed toward the goals of the site.

  • Accessibility, usability and engagement are important factors.

  • User experience is not limited to interactions on the website, but also via customer support and communications.

  • User experience will determine the success of your site.

  • Good user experience builds trust and confidence in your site or brand and makes people enthusiastic about sharing their experience.

5) SEO

  • SEO is concerned with creating, organizing and displaying content in a way that search engines can access.

  • SEO  includes the research of keywords or other subject mater that should be included in the site to increase its relevance.

  • It also addresses problem areas such as duplicate content, poor coding, slow load times, and other issues that interfere with search engines.

  • It looks at how to create natural authoritative links into the site.

  • The goal is to bring traffic to your site and track the traffic to ensure that SEO efforts are successful.

6) Marketing

  • Advertising and other efforts to make people aware of a site or product, this often goes hand in hand with SEO.

  • Marketing includes the tracking of results and data to verify that the efforts are successful and to improve them.

  • The goal is to bring traffic to your site or other point of sale locations and influence people to choose your product or service.

Successful SEO and marketing will bring a user into the website where they will access your content via your your website’s user interface.


7) Tracking & Follow up

  • In order to provide feedback for SEO, Marketing, and User Experience, some kind of tracking system is necessary.

  • Tracking can be code based like Google Analytics, or office based, like tracking how callers found out about you.

  • Surveys, follow up emails, phone calls and other customer service systems are important.

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