The process of designing a web site also includes market research, target audience research, pre/post production, SEO optimization, planning, considering advertizing options etc.
Web designing requires a lot of thought put into it, so that the final code is valid, readable, cross-browser compatible and written in such a way that future updates can be easily implemented. By separating content (HTML) and styles that accompany it (CSS) ,web authoring and site maintenance has been greatly simplified. Basically the reasoning is that HTML should represent raw data / content and the CSS should represent the aesthetics of that content. In that way a simple change in CSS file can reflect on every page on the site, making a site wide style change just a few lines of code away.
Website graphics obviously play a huge role in representing your website and as such, present a very effective way of boosting your site visits. It’s highly likely that the look of your site gives your customers/visitors a foundation to base their first impressions on, of you and your site. The balance of the elements on the page, the quality of graphics, the color scheme, typography etc. and overal look and feel of your site are one of the most important (if not THE most important) assets with which you can gain new visitors.
Researching your target audience is of the essential significance in the process of web design. Sure you can design and develop the best looking website ever, but if you miss your target audience, it simply won’t work. Target audience is the main audience that you would want visiting your site. You’ll want to develop your site in a way that the overal feel of it caters to your audience’s needs and interests.
The pink unicorn riding a glitter rainbow design would work (probably) for a pre-teen girl toy store but no matter how good it looked, in a different context (or any other context in fact) it would only be able to reject a great deal of your potential customers.
Cross browser compatibility
Cross-browser compatibility represents the ability of a website, web application or any kind of script to support all the web browsers so it could be properly rendered on all browser platforms. The term cross-browser has existed for many years, almost since the beginnings of web development. The term was coined in the last 1990′s during the “browser wars” when Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Explorer were fighting for market share.
New browser versions were being launched quite often with added new features and functionalities and since there wasn’t too much coordinations between the two companies, the web soon became one big mess with huge number of sites that are rendered properly only on one browser.
SEO(Search engine optimization)
SEO represents an acronym for “search engine optimization” and represents a method of driving traffic towards a website, by getting it indexed and ranked by many search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. The content gets on the website gets indexed by search engine ‘crawlers’ also known as ‘robots’. They scan your content and meta tags and index it by using a certain algorithm that represents how relevant your content is for a certain keyword.
Site optimization for search engines is a long and sometimes tedious process because the reflections are not instant and sometimes weeks can go by before the robot crawls and indexes your site again. We live in a time when people tend to spend most of their time online and if your business can’t be found on search engines it’s most likely that your business will not grow. Or at least it will not have the chance to grow with full potential. That is why the SEO is one of the most important items on the list that you should think through during web design process.