phase 2: design
Design has several meanings when it comes to Web development. There's layout and brand identity which gives the site its look and feel but there's also content design or information architecture which is equally as important. Our goal as information architects is to create a user experience that captures interest, communicates the major marketing points, sets the tone, and allows information to be logically and easily found throughout the site. A good design will keep your audience focused on the marketing message, which is even more critical online than with traditional media, because a competitor's Website is just a click away.
Design concepts are presented in a static form, with each design shown as a home and inside page. Some larger sites may have additional pages shown in each design, like an administrative or special product page. The overall goal is to show a complete visual representation of each design concept. If new marketing copy is needed, it's often presented along with the comps. The number of designs can vary based on project size and budget, but three is the average.
SEO Myths and Facts
The growing trend is to design Websites for search engine optimization, or SEO. Developing a Website's design strictly for Web search engine rankings results in simplistic looking Websites with copy written specifically to repeat key words and minimize images. While this may increase the site’s Google ranking for the moment, there’s the issue of how a user reacts when landing on the home page. Having the top Google ranking doesn't mean much if your users are greeted with generic design and copy written for search engines instead of a solid marketing message.
At Dragonfly, the importance of the user experience is our first priority. When a user lands on a client's site, there is an immediate professional feeling with the recognition of legitimate products or services. The purpose, content and direction of the site is clear. Despite the SEO trend, our method of building sites for ease of usability has allowed our clients to market well, increase page views, and retain users while sustaining respectable search engine results. Need proof? Just do a Google search for "Princeton Website design" and see who's ranked #1 and 2.
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