10 things Iâ€™ve learned whilst working next to a web developer for a month
With the arrival of in-house web development here at Fogg, us designers have had to keep up to speed with how to design effectively for web to adapt to our clientsâ€™ digital needs. Hereâ€™s just a few of the things Iâ€™ve learned whilst working next to our new Digital Lead, Toby Bradshaw for just over a month.
1. Keep it clean
Form follows function. Keeping your site stripped back will ensure the user can get the information they need as quickly as possible. Animations and overly-decorated sites can be fun and eye-catching, but they can also be very distracting.
2. Having a solid site map before designing anything is key
Navigation is the most important thing you will consider when designing for web. The way that the user navigates around your online offer directly affects how they will interact with it. If thereâ€™s something you think the viewer needs to see (like contact details, a special offer etc.), make sure they can find it straight away. Also, if the site is content heavy, try and keep the number of pages down to a minimum and leave a â€˜breadcrumb trailâ€™ (an option to backtrack through previous pages visited) so that the user doesnâ€™t get lost.
3. Content is king
In January 1996, Bill Gates wrote an essay titled â€œContent is Kingâ€, which was published on the Microsoft website. In this essay, he wrote; â€œContent is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.â€ And of course, his prediction was correct. No matter how beautiful your site is, if the content isnâ€™t relevant, engaging, informative and clear there is no way your target audience is going to engage with your offer. We can help you with writing and refining content for your site, but a lot of the time the best words come from the real experts in the field â€“ the client.
4. Donâ€™t forget search engine optimisation (SEO)
Following on from the last point, your content should hit as many key words as possible so that your site is easy to find for search engines (and your end user). Even the images in your site should be named appropriately so that they can be picked up by images searches.
5. Coffee is essential
Cups of tea are just not strong enough for coders.