In this post series, Checklist For Web Design, we will be looking at the multitude of tasks that one needs to consider when getting ready to build a new website.
Who Will Benefit?
If you are a web designer, hopefully, you will find the resources here useful. If you are not a designer but want to know your stuff before hiring a designer, then this series will certainly help you.
What Does A Web Designer Do?
How often do you hear someone say oh, I’m a web designer? What do they mean? What’s involved? Saying you are a web designer is like someone saying they are a lawyer. What type of lawyer?
Just Because You Can…
The term web design can mean almost anything. If you have a subscription to Dreamweaver, I suppose you could call yourself a web designer—but be careful.
A Web Designer Wears Many Hats
In truth, a professional web designer understands much more than what looks good on screen. Every aspect of a site’s design must consider a wide range of topics.
- Site Performance
And these disciplines are just for starters. Let’s look a little closer at these disciplines:
Usability Checklist For Web Design
Simply put, usability refers to the User Experience (UX), or how easy or pleasing a website is to use.
Good user experience has huge and long-reaching ramifications—as does poor user experience.
If a visitor to your site finds the information they were seeking, they will stay on your site longer—or perhaps even bookmark your site.
Another example could be that if you have straightforward and easy to use Navigation, the user will love using your site. The result is likely that they will come back again.
Accessibility Checklist For Web Design
In simple terms, Accessibility refers to making sure your website is usable (Accessible) by as many people as possible regardless of sight impairment or any other limitations.
But, Accessibility goes further than that. Accessibility means that anyone using any device, anywhere in the world must be able to access your site. If you think about that carefully, you might start to see the scope of things.
Slow, And Slower
For example, a website that takes more than 5 seconds to load on a good mobile signal (such as 3G, 4G and 5G), hasn’t a chance of loading for someone that only has access to 2G networks.
Currently, there are only roughly 1.5 million 2G users in the world, according to Statista But remember, as websites become more powerful, the 3G network will become the new 2G.
Legibility Checklist For Web Design
Legibility can mean several things, from font size (and style) to how well the content reads. It can even mean what colours are used on your site. For example, if you were to use a light colour font on a white background (seems to be all the rage), the reader might well struggle to see the words.
This sentence should prove my point. This particular issue undoubtedly falls into both Usability and Accessibility issues.
Performance Checklist For Web Design
Website performance is of the highest importance—if you are looking to rank on the likes of Google. Performance covers two separate disciplines:
- Site speed, load times, image optimisation, page size, page requests, caching, just to name a few.
- Conversions—in other words, how many visitors convert to customers.
SEO Checklist For Web Design
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of improving a website’s ranking in the organic listings of the major search engines for a set of keywords. By improving the ranking of a website, you attract more traffic which should ultimately lead to more inquiries and sales. The list of Search Engine Optimisation aspects is massive, but these are the absolute basics.
you can read more about our SEO services »
So far, we have only scratched the surface of what a web designer does. But for most web designers out there, running their own, small web studio, we have to do it all. I, for one, are not complaining: I LOVE IT!
The Tech Stuff Checklist For Web Design
The tech stuff, as far as I know, isn’t an actual discipline. It is, however, a huge deal to get right and covers all behind the scenes stuff like working with hosting providers, setting up SSL Certificates (the green padlock) and making sure all updates are, well, up to date.
The tech stuff can also refer to the setting up of analytics (such as Google Analytics), setting up Google my Business (for local stores) and setting up Facebook and other social media accounts—and that’s keeping the list fundamental.
Checklist For a Web Design Project
From here, I’m going to list in chronological order the topics (disciplines) we typically follow her at Kevin Oliver Web Design.
- Gathering of information related to site content
- Website Name (Domain Name) Research & Purchase
- SSL Purchase & Set up
- DNS Set up
- Hosting Set up
- Competition Research
- Website Structure and Organization Established
- Search Engine Submission Prepared
- Artwork Compiled
- Logo Designed or Prepared as Digital Art
- Color Scheme Research
- Layout Design Research
- Color Scheme Research
- Layout/Design Chosen
- HTML and CSS Coding Design
- Content and Articles Added
- Review Web Standards
- Validate Code
- Check Website with Other Browsers
- Review Website with Other devices
- Check Website with Various Screen Resolutions
- Edit and Review Website Presentation
- Test Website (typically 1-2 weeks)
- Review Links
- Frequently Update
- Check for Errors
- Add Link Exchanges
- Check for Bad Links
- Keyword Review and Update
- Check Site Statistics
- Add New Content
- Re-Submit Site to Search Engines
- Review Web Page Descriptions
- Check Web Page Titles
- Review Meta Tag Standards and Update
- Research Top Searches from Search Engines (potential new content ideas)