After you have carefully selected the company that will build a website for you and provided the necessary information on your target audience, business goals and the style of your new website, your partner web design company should have all the necessary information to start working on the design. Once the mockups are ready and you see them, you need to go back to your initial requirements and bearing them in mind, ask yourself the following questions.
Does this design speak to my target audience?
You know who your customers are. You have previously done your research and know their user personas, personalities and background. You should know the style that will best communicate the right message to the right audience.
If your website design speaks to your target audience, it will accurately represent your brand and that’s one of your primary business goals, isn’t it?
Does this layout feature the most important information?
When you look at your website design, ask yourself what is the most eye-catching element of it? A successful website design will have the most important information stand out and that’s what you should use as the main criterium when analyzing the web design options presented. When designing a website for our client, Ryton Dental, we came up with a layout that featured the ‘Contact us’ and ‘Book now’ buttons by placing them in the header of the homepage and inner website pages.
Will this design provide simple navigation?
When your visitors land on your site for the first time, they need to be able to understand immediately who you are and what kind of services you offer. Hopefully, they will not just visit one page of your website. Having answered the initial questions – who you are and what you do, your website needs to answer additional questions as well – where to find you, who you work with, a more detailed description of your services and so on. I am sure almost every website answers these additional questions, however, what I am not sure about is if every website uses simple navigation which would lead the visitor straight to the answers to these questions.
Is this design aesthetically pleasing?
I have previously been focusing on how functional the design is and should be, but we must not underestimate the importance of the visual aspect. Do not forget that you and your visitors will actually be looking at your website and you both need to like it. The good thing is, it will take you less than a second to decide if you like the design or not, but even though this is a quick thing to tick off of your checklist, it does not make it less important.
Is this design mobile-friendly?
We do spend a lot of time at our computers, but we spend even more time using our phones. No need to share the survey results and the numbers of connected mobile devices for 2017 or 2018 or the volume of web traffic coming from mobile sources. Just look around and you’ll see what most people use their mobile for and trust me, you do not want to miss this crowd. So, if you are looking at a non-responsive design, just stop and ask your designer to come up with responsive mockups as well.
Will my website be compatible with different browsers?
There are five major web browsers that your website must look and function well across: Firefox, IE, Opera, Chrome and Safari. If your website does not look the same on each of these, I guess your designer will have some homework to do.
What are my plans when my website goes live?
If you are aware of the upcoming changes you’ll need to make to your website, try to figure out how big they are going to be. Are these changes related to content update only or there might be certain hosting or design support requests too? These questions are important because in the first case, you’ll need a simple guide or training in order to be able to update your website content. Otherwise, it would be great if the website design agency you are working with, offered certain support packages suitable for your needs and requirements.
If you have chosen the design option, you are all set and your website is ready to go live. Once this happens, make sure you regularly work on the content and thus keep your website up to date.