Which would you rather have? A website that looks great but performs poorly, or a website that runs like clockwork but looks like a class of second-graders put it together? Neither option is appealing, is it?
Is it too much to ask for the best of both worlds? And how will your budget factor in?
Elegant Design or Streamlined Development?
Web design vs. development; In the realm of discount web development, many folks are faced with this impossible choice.
After all, web design and development have different goals, and not every outsourced web design firm can deliver an optimized product across both fields.
It’s hard to overstate how important aesthetics are, particularly for those in ecommerce. Visual design has to do more than just look sexy, though. It guides visitors through the web experience and directs them to a site’s points of interest, usually done via deliberate structuring of visual hierarchy, intuitive navigation, and easy-to-find calls-to-action. Web designers prioritize aesthetics, unique brand identities, and keeping up with fashionable industry trends.
Dedicated web developers, on the other hand, have a different set of goals. These tech mavens prioritize the guts of your system over its visual style. Priorities for developers include proper functionality, coding efficiency, platform customization, and troubleshooting problems. These folks aren’t about making your site look good, they’re about making it run well.
Clash of the Titans
Though development boutiques that excel at both development and design can really put these concepts to work for their clients, you must be cautious when choosing a service provider. Going too wild with your visual design can distract viewers and turn them off, rendering your site functionality pointless. At the same time, sluggish and error-prone coding structures will send your viewers running for the hills, never mind how stylish your platform looks.
This is the dilemma faced by businesses who go into the design process without a plan. Sure, your developers will handle the lion’s share of the work, but they’ll need your input to know how to deliver you a web platform that has both substance and style.
Let’s review a few tips to help guide you along:
- Know Your Goals: Before your web boutique can help you achieve your dreams, they have to know what your dreams are. Have a clear understanding of the goals of your site before going in. Are you trying to sell? Do you want to educate? Is your goal to generate followers and build a community? The end goal of your website will determine how design and development will be balanced.
- Communication: Website infrastructure is complicated. Fixing one aspect of a site can sometimes mean breaking another, especially when your website was initially developed with patchwork code. Communicate with your developers when testing out your site’s functionality. Particularly with budget developers, little errors can easily slip through the cracks and avoid detection until your customers point them out.
- Solicit Feedback: Your viewers are the best metric to test your web platform against. If you find that your site generates plenty of viewers but few actual purchases, you can use this information to improve site navigation around your sales funnel and better display your marketing materials. Get feedback from site viewers to measure what aspects of your site may be lacking.
Reconciling your web design and development isn’t simple. It all begins with a clear understanding of your goals, who you’re targeting, and what you can offer them. From there, an experienced and trusted web development boutique will help you craft a platform that performs under pressure while still displaying the unique style that your business has to offer.