Developing & Designing a Business Website Effectively
The thought of creating and updating a website can present symptoms reflective of a mild panic attack. It’s huge. It can be overwhelming. Just remember to rest and breath easy. If you maintain a commitment to methodology, your website design and development process can be successful. Just keep in mind the pros, process and steps for following that methodology.
It cannot be said enough this methodology only works with a strong management team, either internal or external. If your organization feels comfortable in managing this project itself–go for it. But keep in mind, even when you deal with an outside resource such as a marketing or website design company, it should have strong management skills and look at things holistically. Why? It is important to have a strong project manager who will both stick to and execute the plan.
Pros of sticking to a website design plan
- Save your money. A process ensures you do not waste precious resources in redesigning and reworking projects. You may have internal graphic designers, information technology personnel and marketing personnel but each come with an internal bill rate.
- Save your time. It’s debatable in society what is more scarce these days–time or money. Not having a plan will not only cost you money, it will cost you time wasted in reworking projects.
- Save your sanity. Your right mind, your lucidity, your marbles–having a plan will help you keep all these in place while you’re juggling all your other projects.
Once you’ve committed to sticking to the plan of designing a business website, now consider three phases of the plan–design, build, and test.
The website process: design, build, and test
The plan should include an understanding of your marketing objectives–how will the site help in the sales process? What kinds of users do you have? What are their design preferences? Next, create a list of requirements and define the scope of the project. What are your site requirements and who will execute them? Can you afford it? Then, create a design plan that incorporates functional elements. Lastly, develop multiple creative designs that incorporate various user experiences.
In the build phase, technical employees take the documentation created in the phase of designing a business website and build the site. They actually bring the site to life.
In the test phase, the site is given multiple technical and functional road tests. For example, if you expect a site visitor to click on a button, the button needs to work. Everything needs to work, and it takes a cross sectional team to ensure the air bags deploy on impact.
The next steps
Whether you are just starting to build your website or you are in the middle of an ongoing disaster, just keep in mind you are in control. And, in the days of Web 2.0, you are even in charge of how the site looks, feels and interacts.
Take charge by following these four steps.
- Step 1: Research possible partners who can help drive, design and implement your site creation.
- Step 2: Evaluate your internal resources based on their knowledge, availability and ability to execute and determine if you have a strong project manager in place.
- Step 3: Look at your money, time and sanity and whether you are willing to part with any of them.
- Step 4: Evaluate all these options based on the ability to create an amazing site following the design, build, and test process. Whether you do the work internally or externally, make sure the project manager can show proof of sticking to the plan.
Remember, creating your website doesn’t have to mimic an episode of a bad medical drama. Shout Code Blue now and start following a strategic design process. Lastly, rest and breath easy, because you are ultimately the one in control.