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Web Site Design Choosing a Web Design Company

The information on this page is not geared towards putting our company in an atttractive light. These are our own high standards for choosing a subcontract developer.

 

Web Site DesignAesthetics

Look at some web sites published by the developer you are considering. Consider the impact that they have on you.

  • Are the sites attention grabbing and effective?
  • Do they look fresh and clean?
  • Are they tidy, or too messy or busy?
  • Do you like the colours? Do they match, or clash?
  • Are colours/graphics appropriate to the content of the web site?
  • Do the graphics look detailed, or rushed and amateur?
  • Is the company image professional and consistant?

These questions will allow you to assess the graphic design ability of the designer in question.

 

Web Site Design Usability

Another thing to assess these web sites on is usability. Usability is an area that comes from software design, and not native to most web developers. This means that you should pay attention to clarity of navigation structure and ability to find the required information quickly from anywhere in the site. If using a web site becomes over complicated or unclear, then that is when you lose the customer.

 

Web Site Design Experience & Ability

Look for a desiger who has had specific experience creating a project similar to yours, containing similar features. The designer should at least be able to demonstrate knowledge relevant to your requirements. The best thing you can do is ask the developer a lot of in-depth questions, and ask for examples. This also helps you to clarify some finer details of your project.

 

Web Site Design Aftercare

Ensure that your developer is committed to providing an accepable level of support for your site, should anything go wrong, or if you need to make any changes. You should also examine any assistance offered in the promotion of your web site via search engines or other means. What is their aftercare policy?

Web Site Design Technical Professionalism

As we mentioned elsewhere on this site, all professonal developers are under a lot of pressure to conform to basic W3C and Accessibility standards. This means that when coding your web site care must be taken to keep the code valid, up to date and error free. No obsolete code must be used, and no features of the web site must inhibit disabled access.

 

This is the single most neglected area by amateur web designers and developers, simply because it is difficult to refine a web site so tightly. To do so takes years of experience and a high degree of accuracy.

 

Look out for images like these: CSS XHTML 1.1 which claim validity of a web site. They should usually link to a W3C validator, which automatically checks the code and exposes any errors. Be sure to click these links and validate the code, before taking it at face value. If a web developer does not display such buttons, their pages are probably not compliant.

 

If you are using Firefox to browse the internet (which we recommend), try installing the Developer Toolbar. It allows you to validate each page on the fly. The top right of your browser shows a tick for a valid page. It also exposes any obsolete Javascipt.

 

For accessibility, look for something like this: Accessibility Level Double-A. The Firefox developer toolbar also allows you to test accessability features. You can disable javascript, images, CSS styles or all 3. If you can still use the web site in each case, it is well designed. If the site becomes unusable in any case, then it fails on accessability.

 

You should also try testing web sites with Bobby, an automated online accessability tool, which will highlight any immediate accessability concerns.

 

Web Site Design Communication

Make sure you have a regular means of contact with someone who has specific ownership of your project. If your developer can answer your techical questions in a straightforward and descriptive manner then you are onto a winner.

 

Web Site Design Proposal

If your developer has passed all of the tests so far, then provide them with the brief and wait for their proposal. You should recieve neatly produced report that accurately and comprehensively reflects your requirements, budget and timescale expectations.

If you don't have time to read all of the articles, or if you would like to discuss any of these matters further,
Call on 0800 0680248, or email!

< Planning Your Web Site | Making it Work! >

Designers Glasgow Business Articles

Market Research, Funding, Planning
Choosing a Web Design Company, Making it Work!

Designers Glasgow Techinical Articles

Accessible Web Design, W3C Compliance
Search Engine Optimisation, CMS, Browser Resolution

 

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