Best practices of web design and development

Web design and development are constantly changing as while some coding languages become popular, some fade out. In today’s global marketplace, having a digital presence is essential. Yet, it is also vital to have a website that is optimized, functional, and interactive to capitalize on opportunity and captivate real, live, human readers.  Unfortunately, in the online world there can be found a multitude of poor website designs that miss both the technical and content mark. Even worse is that some clients and developers alike are continuously contributing to this in equal measure. So, it is time to end the cycle of all-surface-no-substance websites and create trendy, functional, and interactive websites.

Understand your client’s expectations

Clients sometimes come with unrealistic expectations which can doom a website to fail even before the design process begins. They usually have limited knowledge of what a functional website can deliver to its visitors and how it should look like. They also rarely understand that going beyond the esthetics can build success rather than solely focusing on the appealing interface.

A good-looking website doesn’t necessarily mean that it is functional and user-friendly. Thus, clients must find a dedicated development team that will offer them a website that is engaging, offers a dynamic user experience, and that is visually appealing.

Both you and your clients must work together on figuring out your unique point of view when it comes to the functionality of the website and its appeal. The client must understand that effective intuitive website design is complicated and more expensive, but the return is well worth the investment. On the other hand, as a developer, you have to accept projects that have all the necessary digital marketing functions to elevate both owner and user experience.

Simplify the navigation

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One of the top priorities of a web developer is to create a website that is easy to navigate by its visitors. All visitors access a website for a certain reason, be it to buy something, to get more information, or see what you have to offer. Thus, it shouldn’t be difficult to find what they are looking for on your site because if they can’t figure out quickly how to do it, they will most likely leave. The enormous number of websites existing on the internet creates a great competition, so no visitor will have a reason to put up with complex site navigation where they can find what they need somewhere else.

To simplify the navigation, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. In fact, you should stick with the standard format and add something new if you want some innovation. For example, most of the websites have the main navigation menu positioned at the top of each page. Thus, if you place it somewhere different, your visitors will be confused and lose their patience while trying to find it. Since the menu is a major navigation gateway, complex design and navigations will take them longer to find what they need. Also, the menu should contain few options because limited choices can lead to higher conversions.

Consider mobile browsing

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Almost everybody has a smartphone in their pockets right now and they use it far more frequently than they use their laptops or computers. Mobile internet traffic has officially surpassed desktop usage and is a trend that continues to rise. Thus, optimizing your design for mobile devices is a must since mobile browsing is becoming the new normal.  Creating a mobile-friendly website is one of the most essential aspects to work on to fulfill the goal of establishing a strong online presence. A mobile-friendly website includes exactly the same content and information on any device you access it on but the way it is displayed changes depending on the size of the device screen.

It is also advisable not to use flash since neither Android nor iOS devices support flash. Moreover, flash is bad for SEO and can slow down a page’s load time. Thus, if you use it, your mobile users will simply be left out.

Another tip for creating a mobile-friendly website is to use large font sizes because reading on small screens is much harder than in front of a computer. It is best to stick with standard fonts that are easy to read and won’t slow down how long it takes for the website to load.

Include chatbots

Conversational chatbots are certainly a new trend which has become a necessity for enterprise businesses to nurture relationships with customers and increase customer satisfaction. The incorporation of chatbots into your website will make it more interactive and user-friendly by ensuring good communication with your customers or visitors.  You can create a powerful chatbot by implementing AI, natural language processing and automation.

Include social media networking

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Many enterprises think of their website as being the center of their online presence, but, in fact, more and more consumers use social media platforms as a starting point to find and access information about the products or promotions of the brands they prefer. Thus, web designers integrate all relevant social media platforms into their website design to allow visitors to access these social media platforms directly from the website itself and vice versa. Place social media icons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. in the place with good visibility on your website such as the header or the footer.

Provide strong security

On-site security is the most essential aspects to work on while developing or designing a website. Effective security and privacy protocols such as basic security checks are extremely crucial to ensure that all information and data integrated into your website won’t be compromised at any costs. Countless websites are compromised every day due to outdated and insecure software, thus your website must be updated as soon as a new plugin or CMS version is available. For websites that run multiple users or logins, it is crucial for every user to have the appropriate permission for the job they need to complete on the website.

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