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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fast web development and great web design

A website is an important part of any company's portfolio, and a well designed website is essential not only for business purposes, but for maintaining a presence online in general. The object of a website could be purely commercial, like e-commerce websites, or it could be for showcasing, and increasing awareness of products and services. Whatever the case may be, the duty of any webmaster is to make sure that his website is well developed, and is user friendly. A very popular question is “What makes a great website?”, well the answer is not as simple as it sounds. Firstly all websites are not alike, each client has his own set of requirements and conditions for a website.

In terms of web designing there are few critical aspects that have to be kept in mind, before a website can be considered as competitive or well designed. No matter what the reputation of the web development team, there are a set of rules and criteria that are common to all web sites. The first aspect that has to be kept in mind, is that the website should be user friendly. Irrespective of the purpose of the website, the website has to be user friendly, as a user has only a limited attention span, and if the user cannot find the information or product he is looking for easily, then chances are he will not return to the site a second time. This is especially true for e-commerce sites, in fact almost all e-commerce sites have a search feature, and detailed cataloguing of their products to make sure the web site is as user friendly as possible.

Just like the d├ęcor of an office reflects the attitude of the people that work there, similarly a website is a logical extension of a company's attitude and work ethic. One look at a website for any major manufacturing firm, and one can see that the websites are professional looking, and are free from glaring colours and fancy animations. This does not mean that having a colourful website, rich in graphics is a bad thing, a website meant for children, has to be colour rich and full of animation. The thing to remember is, that most web development firms make sure they understand the requirements of the client, and actually create a website that suits the client's market image and taste.

There is no shortage of ill designed websites on the internet, and the reason is that more often than not such websites are either developed by complete novices, or a web development firm that looks like it was in a hurry. It is therefore essential that the web development firm the webmaster deals with has prior experience in making similar sites. Finally if there is any kind of web development in terms of programming involved, a webmaster must have a pretty good idea of what he wants, and there has to be a balance between usability and functionality, with a tilt towards the former. At the end of the day, if the customer has to go through 4 or 5 pages, to order a product he will loose interest very fast,and might not shop with the website again.

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