5 key steps to a successful website

Written by Gethin on October 21, 2013

1. Research and Identify your audience

Your website needs to hit the market it is intended for, so research into what is already out there is vital. Who are the market leaders and how could they be improved?

Your website needs to take your user by the hand and help them find what they are looking for, so having a constant consideration of your target market will help you keep the site on track.

There are a lot of web trends and phases out there so don’t get sucked into thinking that the newest trend will be perfect for any website you are creating…there is a possibility that it could be, but you should always carefully consider whether it is suitable (It rarely is!)

2. Have a clear strategy and objectives

Set out your key objectives, this will help when developing a concept for your website. It can also be helpful to have a set of questions that you keep asking yourself.

  1. Is this suitable for the audience?
  2. Does this work with the brand?
  3. How will users interact with the website?
  4. Where do we want the user to end up?
  5. Is this working towards the goals of my website?

3. Wireframe the structure

Wireframe-drawing

The user experience is possibly the most important part of the website you’re creating, if it looks great but doesn’t work then it’s a bad design. Wireframe your design, wireframing software allows you to map out the important pages or even the entire website if you wish. We use this process to get a clear understanding of the user experience and discuss it with the client.

user-interface-Apple

This is a piece of user interface from the Apple website, a good example of a suitable ui design.

4. Colour pallets/typography and UI

When developing your user interface for your website, make sure its a clear and suitable for your user. Colour is important, you should use colour to manage attention and direct your user around your site. Don’t be afraid to use white space, it creates balance and indicates links between elements of your site.

Consider the feel you want to achieve with your design, and the experience your target user is intended to receive. Your design should act as a port of call for you brand so making sure your choices work with your brand is important.

5. Analyse your website

Don’t think that once a website goes live, it is all done and dusted! You should always keep track of your website and analyse how people use your website. Look for patterns in user behaviour and consider ways that you can improve your website.

For example, you may notice that you are receiving a lot of traffic to your homepage but users are not signing up to your service. A solution could be to look at your signing up procedure and implement a ‘Sign in with Facebook/Twitter’, remember that you still need to consider the market and where your solution are relevant to them.

Websites can always be improved, it just a case of giving your website the attention it deserves.