Website Design & Development Overview
It’s not enough to just “look good” online anymore. These days, with all of the studies regarding UX design, eye tracking, heat mapping, confetti, and more, brands have even more to worry about. Your website is your first impression and could be your brand’s last, if it’s not a good one. Worse yet, you might not even know about that great referral your client just sent you, if they leave your site and never call you!
- UX Analysis — find out how your customers “really” use your current site
- Sitemap Structure — leverage best practices for organizing your content and site
- UX Design — optimize the visual component to make your site as “sticky” as possible
- Front-End Development — programming for the public-facing version of your site
- Back-End Development — programming to connect all of your other systems with your site
- Responsive & Mobile Website – optimized for multiple screens (desktop, tablet, smartphone)
Website Design & Development Process
If a customer was to ask: What are three things you do best? We would have to say that web design and development are definitely in the top three. We’ve been eating, sleeping, and breathing websites for so long, they’ve become second nature to us. As a result, we’ve developed a great process for figuring out best practices for your industry, what’s working or not working on your current site, and then taking that information to translate into UX, messaging, and functionality recommendations.
Where do we begin? With your current site. Before we begin to change it, we perform a UX and SEO analysis. We’ll run reports on your URL, plus those of your competitors, to see if all of your pages are being indexed, what level of SEO has been done to date, how your site ranks compared to your competition, and what are areas for improvement. Plus, we’ll reverse engineer your online competition’s secret sauce for beating you in the rankings. Then, we’ll make recommendations for features, functionality, or content types to help you “win” online and move up the Google ranks.
Never make a decision in the dark again! Prior to redesigning your site, or even making recommendations to your sitemap structure, have Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency install software and run reports to make sure you fully understand how your customers interface with your site. We’ll tell you how far down the page an online visitor is willing to go, what elements they expect to be able to click on that aren’t currently clickable, what is their preferred browser type and window size, what percentage of each OS is visiting your site, whether an optimized or responsive mobile presence is necessary, and more! You’ll have so much great data to take back to your executive team that you’ll be armed with actionable data to say: this is how our online audience really uses our site, therefore, this is what we need to do for our new site.
Once we’ve finalized the scope of work based on the research we perform, we’ll move on to the sitemap structure recommendations. We’ll look at your site, your marketing materials, interview you and your team (if appropriate), and research your competitors as well as tap into best practices to recommend your ideal site structure. Then, we’ll set it up within our online software system for sitemap collaboration and commenting. As many members of your team as you like can all be involved in viewing, commenting, and deciding on the final preferred structure. Once it’s approved, we’ll move on to the UX design portion of our web design process.
UX design is a science and an art. There are definite, tested scientific theories regarding eye tracking and “F” or “E” patterns for UX engagement. We’ll factor those theories into the design, as well as your branding and competitive landscape to make the most appropriate recommendations. For us, UX is not just about looking good, but performing well. We want your site visitor to find the information they’re looking for, engage with it, and go deeper so that their site visit is long and their bounce rate is low. That only happens with great UX design and great content. When content is well-organized and easy to find, site visitors experience a more enjoyable visit and are more likely to return as well as convert.
For us, front-end development is pretty easy. It’s the HTML/CSS slicing and dicing to get your site to the next stage. Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency creates an exquisitely detailed coding doc as part of our design “handoff” process to ensure that every minute detail of design vision is correctly translated into the HTML version of the site. We have an extensive quality control process of refining the design and coding prior to moving on to the CMS integration so that we are sure to catch any small detail before it “slips through the cracks.” Typically, we catch 90-95% of all potential coding errors on the HTML side before we move on to the next phase which makes the front-end programming work take longer, but reduces the tail-end debugging and testing time as we try to catch everything as early as possible.
Once the HTML and CSS are approved by our quality control team, we move on to CMS integration and API/software integration. This is where we will likely build your site as a custom WordPress site and integrate it with your software of choice: SalesForce, your Email Service Provider (ESP), HubSpot, etc. And, we build our forms such that any new forms you build using the CMS will already be per-integrated with said software so you will not require additional programming once we hand over the site.
Then, we move on to content creation and migration. This is where we’ll move the content from your current site and setup the redirects from the old pages to the new pages. We’ll also help you create content for the new pages that have been recommended, but did not previously exist. We’ll perform image research and recommendations for new imagery to embed into your site. We’ll create infographics, if necessary, to explain complex concepts regarding your product or service, and embed videos from your YouTube or Vimeo channel for maximum “stickiness.” We’ll also connect your social accounts and perform social branding so your social accounts match your new site’s look and feel. Then, we’ll finalize the look and feel to make sure all elements such as tables and widgets are formatted and performing properly.
Need a Mobile Website or mobile landing page? Piece of cake. Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency regularly designs and develops mobile versions of our sites for our clients. The question is are you looking for responsive or viewport? Do you need a sniffer for iOS vs Android? Who is coming to your site and what is their preferred OS as well as screen size (phone or tablet)? If you’re not sure, we can help with that, too. We’ll install software on your current site and run reports for you to give you the data you need to determine the phased roll out of your mobile investment. Why guess, when you can allocate budget based on scientifically proven and significant data from actual user behavior?
After all of that work, we dive into the SEO integration component. SEO integration means adding all appropriate header tags, meta title and description, keywords, adding Google Analytics and Google Goal Funnels to your forms, making sure all SEO copywriting has been embedded, and submitting your URL to the search engines, if SEO is a component of this particular web project.
Lastly, we perform another round of extensive quality control, testing, and debugging. We’ll look at how your site performs on multiple web browsers (Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Explorer, etc.) and multiple devices (iPhone, Android smart phone, iPad, smart tablet, etc.). We’ll fill out all of the forms and make sure data is porting accurately to SalesForce. We’ll test the download center to make sure all white papers and case studies are only able to download after a form is filled out. We’ll integrate Captcha and/or Akismet to ensure maximum SPAM protection. And, when we all say the site is ready to go (Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency team and client team), we’ll deploy the site live on your server of choice. We can even make recommendations for ideal server environment, too!
Finally, after your site is live, we offer training and support. One of our team members will train as many people from your company as you like on the CMS (Content Management System) with a 1-2 hour training session and extensive training doc. Feel free to call us for up to two weeks (after the site goes live) and we’ll happily answer any and all of your technical “how to” questions for no additional charge. Feel like you need more support or would like to go on a monthly maintenance package for support and software/plugin updates? We offer those packages as well. We’ll cater to your needs so that you get the best “hand off” for your needs.
Website Design & Development FAQs
There are many ways to make your website work within a mobile space such as iPhone, Android or Windows smart phone, iPod, iPad, or other smart tablet.
Three easy ways to make your website mobile-friendly:
1. Create a mobile landing page that has a sniffer so it only shows up if someone visits the site from a mobile device. This mobile landing page will have larger icons and options for going deeper into your site and simplifies the ways someone can interact with your site.
2. Create a mobile site that has a sniffer that only shows this mobile “version” of your site with limited offerings and completely different navigation to allow visitors to call you or get directions. The purpose of the mobile site is to identify the top 5 reasons someone might need to visit your site using the mobile device and give them those options.
3. Create an entirely responsive site so that the user has a different experience with your website on a computer vs. a tablet vs. a smart phone.