When it comes to website design, there are three very important elements that must influence the process of developing a site which can be viewed on the Internet.
1. Customer Satisfaction.
Although this should be common sense customer satisfaction does not always take a front row seat in the priority department for many agencies. It seems that in the era of our fast paced society a lack of customer satisfaction is the status quo. Companies often rush from completing one job to the next and in the process they somehow skip steps, miss promised timelines, or fail to meet agreed upon priorities. Which comes to my next point.
2. Listening to the Customer's Needs
The old adage that the customer is always right has been somewhat lost. Clients generally have an idea of what they want to achieve with their websites. Typically, for businesses, it is to bring in new business or increased revenue. What they often do not know; however, is how to accomplish this online in the form of their website. This should not really be a surprise, because often this is not an area of expertise for many entrepreneurs or company executives. This also does not mean that the web development firm hired to complete the website should just run ahead without consulting the client on their needs.
It takes a practiced skill to help the client identify what they want to accomplish online and what the look and feel of the website should be. This initial groundwork will certainly go a long way in understanding the overall goal of the site, and how to best achieve this within best design and development practice.
3. The Ability to Communicate with the Client
This skill of helping the client identify what they want to accomplish online can be best identified as communication. It is the process of exchanging information through various means to accomplish an understanding or shared meaning of ideas. The ability to do this well only comes with skill and practice. A good analogy of this process would be the traveller looking for directions in a foreign place using a different language. The traveller is like the website design firm looking for directions from the local: the client. Like the local who may or may not know the directions, the client may or may not know what they are looking for in their website. A good project manager in the web design firm will use all their skills to gather the information, and help the client along in their journey of conveying what they want in their website.
These skills may include interpersonal projection, asking for clarity, using probing questions to seek further details, and evaluating and explaining the process thoroughly. The client needs to know sooner than later what is possible with the budget specified, and how modifications during the website design process can increase the cost to develop the website.
Although there are many other elements that contribute to excellent website design, web designers or their project managers must be able to provide these three main aspects for the web design project to be on a successful track.