Before you take the leap into building a new website, whether it is your first or not, you should really think about what will make that website “GOOD”. Whether you are building the new site in-house or using an agency, one of the first things to take notice is who is building the site. There are 3 main departments that are involved in any website project and each has its own definition of what a website should be, and what makes it good.
Creative / Designers
The Thought: The typical designer will define a “Good Website” as something that looks outstanding. No pixel has been left undesigned, an attention to detail like no other on the small things. Designers are focused on the overall aesthetic appeal of a website, and therefore define a good one, as one that moves them visually. A typical designer will tie in professional feel to the design, and usually will have their own personal input on how the website should look. Designers typically don’t care how a website functions or converts, just about how it looks.
Pros: How can you not like a good looking website? Before you dig into any website, before you even click, you look. A good look is a crucial aspect of any good website, and will convey some level of professionalism if the website is laid out and designed well.
Cons: Who are they designing for? Most designers will not take your target audience into account, so while your target market may prefer a certain aesthetic. You will find it hard to get that out of a designer trying to push their own creative talent onto the page. Most designers aim to please the client with their designs, but clients aren’t the target audience. Designers also don’t typically care about how they are designing. While the best website designers will take web standards into account, they don’t have the knowledge of the code it takes to make their designs come to life. So that attention to detail could turn around and hurt you when the code needed maybe not be up to code standards.
Engineers / Developers
The Thought: The typical developer will not know what makes up good design. Obviously to an extent, but the development team is more concerned with the code and functionality of a website. I am a developer, and I know that no one should trust me with a blank Photoshop file. However I, like most developers, love the challenge of using the best code, the newest innovations in code. Developers don’t see design, colors, we see code.
Pros: Good functionality could be the selling factor of your website. Whether you are looking to create new users, leads, or sales a good user experience is important.
Cons: In most digital agencies, a developer will code the design as the designer as created it, then add in their own opinion on how it should function. Designs are delivered as a static image, and while some things are standard as far as functionality, there is many ways to interpret how a design should function. This is most apparent in the backend administration of any website and how a developer utilizes it to make edits the website. However, the way a user interacts with a website may be good in the eyes of a developer but may be too much for a typical visitor.
The Thought: The Marketing department will define any “Good Website” as one that converts to leads / sales, etc. They care minimally about the design, and as long as the site works to produces what can be turned into profit, the functionality and advanced code is not a given a second thought.
Pros: I think that this has the biggest “Pro” of them all, because as a business you want profit. Marketing teams are focused on conversions, and ROI (Return On Investment) on marketing campaign dollars.
Cons: Marketing teams may not take the best approach when it comes to design or development. They see a website as a billboard, not a piece of art or an engineering marvel. Marketing teams may not have the skills necessary to build a website for your target audience, meaning that a great converting site may not be the best as far as aesthetically pleasing to your target market.
Who is building your website?
Are you looking for a new website? Take the time to think about who is really focusing the most attention on it, is it the design department? You will quickly see what I am going on about when your final product is launched. I have been in the industry for over 10 years and I have seen it on a regular basis, pretty sites that don’t convert or great development projects that look like my 5 year old nephew designed it.
At Ciplex we have been transitioning to meet the demands of our clients for a “Good Website” by integrating all three into 1 team. Straight off the bat we start by getting to know your target market and other business objectives. Once we have a clear understanding of what your real objectives are, we create a site that meets all your business objectives while still retaining a great design and code base. We don’t cut corners, we build you a site that appeals to all three trains of thought of what makes a “Good Website”.