3 Massively Important Elements of Web Site Design

When we talk about web design, many people mistake it for something else. They think web site design is the same as web development. It’s not. Development is the process of writing and refining the code that makes a web site function in the way that it does.

In the context of creating and producing a web site, design carries a far broader meaning. It can mean layout, colour, typography, the content area, images, social media integration and so on. This can be confusing to many people, so a good way to remember is a web designer is like a decorator and a developer is like a house builder. One person has to design and decorate the house and a different person has to builds it. Thinking about it in this way is far easier to remember.

In this article we’ll discuss three major web design elements and explain why making them work together helps create a strong, coherent website that appeals to its visitors and offers them a positive browsing experience.

Central to any truly high-quality site are strong writing and editorial skills. The visual elements of a web site are important, but even the most professionally designed, beautiful site can be undone by bad writing and ineffective, poorly edited copy.

Good web site design must include professional copy writing and editing. Content that informs, persuades and calls a visitor to action is invaluable for online success.

Given that visual presentation forms such a huge part of the web browsing experience, graphic design is obviously another significant part of a strong website. Good-quality graphic design revolves around a deep understanding of spacing, grouping, proportion, balance, imagery, contrast and colour.

When paired with creative, dynamic copy, striking and original graphic design can really add style and substance to a site’s appearance, lifting it from being just another page a visitor skims past to one they find engaging and appealing.

A good web site design should also inherently lend itself to quick, effective search engine optimisation. From code to copy, call-to-action to “contact us”, a site must demonstrate to search engine spiders that it is genuine, fresh and relevant to what users are looking for.

Well-written, carefully chosen words, creative, intelligent graphic design and images and search engine-friendly code and content. These are just a few factors in good web site design. But done right, they can do good things for traffic, bounce rates and overall user experience.

Choosing a Web Designer That Will Compliment Your Business

Your website is your company’s primary sales tool in the online environment and it needs to inspire trust and professionalism as well as being pleasant for users. Achieving a professional and appropriate web presence is something that is likely only achieved by engaging a web developer. This typically means engaging a reputable design company to craft a web based solution that fits your specific needs. Before approaching potential designers, it is imperative that you clarify what it is you are seeking in a design.

Typically the first step is to establish your goals and expected outcomes. You would need to ask yourself what is the ultimate purpose of the site and what are your visitors seeking. All websites should be constructed from a user perspective and should be designed with their needs in mind.

The second step in determining your needs is to work out a rough budget for the development. Having a rough estimate on what you require and expect to spend can help with the negotiation process as well as to provide a filter by which you can gauge the various short listed companies. To create such a short list, it is often worthwhile searching Google for web designers in your local area, checking their reviews, and then contacting them for a customised quote.

The importance of references cannot be overstated when you are engaging a firm to handle your online presence. This is a critical component of your business and marketing plan and needs to be handled by a delicate professional. Most reputable development firms will be more than happy to refer you to past clients and contacting them may very well provide insight into how the web designers operate and communicate.

After the initial quote and contact it is important that you confirm the exact technical specifications lest an issue arise later that could potentially cost you money. A range of questions need to be addressed including, who is to provide the images and stock content, what long-term maintenance plans will be in place for the site if something goes wrong, is the software or CMS platform that is being used open-source or will you be required to make licensing payments. These issues should be clarified and included in any potential contract to avoid surprises later.

Finally, you have reached the point where you need to select an actual web design company from your short list. It is important to note at this point that price does not necessarily dictate quality in this arena. Often pricing can be a factor of how big the specific design agency is and what their overheads are. So do not disregard the small agencies or even independent operators. It is best to review samples of their portfolios and recent work. Every designer does things a little differently and although they may look fantastic the site may be a poor fit for your specific business. Also look for design companies that have experience in your niche and can design sites that are user driven and convert. Attempting to train a web designer on how your business and industry works can be a time consuming process and it is therefore advisable to find someone familiar with your niche.

In closing, it’s important to have a clear idea of the exact specifications you seek when searching for a web design agency. The clear communication of a concept or idea will allow the chosen designers to provide a quote and conceptual design that closely matches your business needs. Ultimately, choosing a designer is not solely about choosing the prettiest template but finding someone who you can communicate effectively with.

Top 5 Cross Platform Mobile Application Development Frameworks

Cross platform mobile application development is a welcome respite for developers that find it hard to manage sizable teams for each of the mobile development verticals. Moreover, developing an application using this much-in-demand platform is a profitable affair as it helps in popularizing the product among a larger section of potential users. The lines below talk about this very topic and discuss various open source tools that developers use to create interactive apps.

Rhomobile

Previously known as Rhodes Framework, RohoMobile Suite is used to build native mobile applications that can function on multiple devices and operating systems. Owned by Motorola Solutions, the open source framework currently supports numerous platforms including iOS, Windows Phone, iOS, BlackBerry and so on. It uses Model View Controller (MVC) pattern where HTML and Ruby are used for writing views and controllers, respectively.

Appcelerator

For developers wishing to create applications for desktops and tablets alongside mobile phones, Appcelerator Titanium is a welcome choice. It supports iPhone, android, iPad and Blackberry based applications and also allows the programmers to use JavaScript to develop native apps for Android and iPhone. Knowledge of Titanium API is important for coders willing to use it.

PhoneGap

It is yet another much sought after cross platform mobile development framework. It lets the coders to use the combination of JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3 together with standardized web APIs to build quality applications to run on a slew of OS and devices including iOS, Android, Symbian, BB, Windows 8, Windows Phone and more. Developed by Adobe systems, PhoneGap consists of Apache Cordova as underlying software.

MoSync

Developed by Mobile Sorcery, MoSync provides free, simple, and open source Software Development Kit (SDK) to build a flurry of cross-platform mobile applications. Developers can use it to create native apps with the help of C/C++, CSS, HTML5 and JavaScript. The framework supports iOS, Android and Windows Phone among others. The company also offers to download MoSync SDK and Reload tool right from its website for maximum benefit of its users.

Sencha Touch

Web developers prefer using Sencha Touch to build interactive application UI with the help of JavaScript library together with the combination of HTML5 and CSS3. With this framework, programmers can comfortably and swiftly develop apps that could run perfectly on the devices supported by Android, iOS and BB. The mobile web apps thus developed give the appearance and experience of native applications. An additional advantage with Sencha Touch is that it offers GUI based controls, which further simplify using the mobile web applications.

For companies and individuals into the business of mobile application development, these frameworks promise very cost-effective solutions as compared to the native platforms. Moreover, owing to the fact that the code written in all such tools are reusable, once written, developers can use them as many times as they want. Prominent reasons such as cost-effectiveness and enhanced visibility due to the availability of apps on multiple OS and devices, often tempt the clients from different walks of life to invest in these cross platform mobile development frameworks and rear exceptional benefits in the long run.