Web Site Design

Factors in Web Site Design

Web site design requires organizations to be clear on what they're trying to achieve:

  • Purpose?
  • Audience?
  • Goals?
  • Elements of design
    • Content: Text , Graphics
    • Usability
    • Appearance: Site structure , Visual design , Consistency with company brand e.g. www.movado.com
    • Visibility - how easy the web site is to find
  • Technical design
    • HTML
    • Programming

Purpose

What's the purpose of the site? If it's to achieve online sales. the site need to be able to handle ordering, pricing calculation and payment processing. However, if the site is designed to promote a brand — such as Movado — its visual design and links to retailers are more important.

The Web Site as a Marketing Tool

A web site is an important marketing tool:

  • Often the first place visited by prospective customers
  • Easy and free for people to check out
  • First place to visit for repeat buyers and for customer service

It's important to design the web site right:

  • Make the right impression
  • Targeted at the right users

Audience

Good sites tailor content to the user. See how the following sites present different content based on who you are:

All these sites allow you to select the type of user you are (student or faculty, business or developer, marketer or publisher, man or woman) and provide customized content.

Goals

Elements of Design

The most common mistake is to design the site around the company instead of the customer:

common_design_mistakes.jpg

Technical Design

Commercial web site design requires technical skills:

  • User focus groups
  • Graphic design
  • HTML design
  • Client-side and server-side programming
  • Search engine optimization
  • Maintenance

Web site design can be expensive. You can get someone to create a simple web site for you for a few hundred dollars, and use small business services from Yahoo!Stores or Microsoft to support orders and process payments. But sophisticated sites for large and complex organizations can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Further details of commercial web site design are beyond the scope of this course, but this site has some more information on how web sites work.

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