All great website design projects start with a research phase. This allows us to get to know your business and your customers/visitors in more detail. What do you want the new website design to do? What pain points and gripes do you and your customers currently have that the new design needs to address. What are the main goals of the new website; more enquiries or sign-ups? This phase allows us to clearly identify the issues and validate the new designs against, we achieve this through interviews and analytical tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar that allow us to see where your visitors are entering the website and where they are dropping off and why they might be doing so as well as watching recordings of your visitors behaviour whilst on the website to highlight areas of improvement.
Before spending the time creating great visuals, designs always benefit from a wireframing phase, the wireframe allow us to focus on what’s important; the layout of content and functionality across devices so that the designs set off on the right foundations and ensure the wireframes meet the goals and expectations set out in the research stage; as opposed to focusing so much on branding and typography so early.
User Interface Design
The next phase will see the design team turn the wireframes into concepts. The designs go through a process of continuous feedback. We want to show you the progress of the designs as early and often as possible so you are able to provide feedback throughout and to make sure you are kept involved in your project. The UI concepts are created for a number of devices from mobile and tablet to smaller and larger desktop screens. The user experience team are heavily involved in the design process at this stage to ensure performance, usability, accessibility, interaction and customer experience are at the front of every design consideration.
Interaction design addresses design decisions around how users interact with the website, when clicking a login button, how the user is presented the login form designed by the user experience and interface teams; is it animated in? if so what is that animation? Are there any hover effects or scroll transitions? On touch devices what gestures make sense and how and where should they be applied to the UI to bring the design to life and support design goals. These all fall under the interaction design role.
Once the User Interface is agreed upon the design team will create a working prototype for you where we add hotspots to the artwork files that allow you to click through your designs to understand the user flow and sitemap and iron out any final feedback. The prototype can be sent directly to your phone, tablet or desktop so you can a real experience of the design on each device.
All websites designed at HJ Software are responsive. Responsive design means that the Design/UI “responds” based on the width of the screen. This essentially means we can tailor the designs to each device as similar devices often share similar screen sizes; we can serve a design to the visitors on a mobile and serve a different design for tablet and desktops but powered by the same data, code and content management system.
Iteration & Validation
It is important we show existing and potential visitors the new website or elements of the latest design as early as possible to validate design decisions that are sound but more importantly provide opportunity to iterate on the designs based on customer feedback. This process ensures that the initial launch serves up the best design we can with the information and data we currently have.
Designs are never going to be 100% right and with the internet, hardware and software improving at a rate of nots a great website today might not be a great website in a month’s time. We need to put systems in place with the help of third party software to track customer behaviour and experience on the website to identify areas of improvement and optimisation. We should then have the ability to produce design amendments and then A/B test these by serving different layouts for the same page to groups of users to determine which works best in an attempt to optimise each page to maximise goal conversions.