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Creative digital design for the web

We're sometimes asked questions about web design and websites which we're always happy to answer. Here are a few of the questions we're asked the most, and our answers

How do we measure web design success? What reporting is available for websites?

If you own a shop, you're aware of trends - maybe Friday evening is always busy in a fish & chip shop, as is Saturday lunchtime. You know how much you took on any given day, and how many fish you got through, but beyond that, the details of your success elude you. How many people looked at the menu on the pavement then walked away? How many people came in your shop but didn't buy? And for what reason? Which were your busiest tables? Who tried to find a seat but couldn't and went to the chippy up the road? How long did it take people to finish their fish supper and leave?

With the web and the web-tools we have available now you can find out all of that! Who came to your site, where they live, what time they visited, how long they spent on your site, which links they clicked on, how many pages they looked at, whether or not they bought anything, if they watched your video or downloaded your guide, if they read your opening spiel on your homepage and decided that your site wasn't for them.

The same applies for your campaigns. You can get any number of metrics to determine whether or not your promotion was a success, which parts of it were well received and which bits you can improve in order to make your campaign a resounding success next time.

Graphic Design for the web

Often, graphic design is used as another term for 'print design' ie. design for printed communications; leaflets, posters, brochures, logo design, magazine layouts and advertising. However, in 2017 there is so much crossover between website design (digital design or even 'graphic design for the web') and graphic design, it's very difficult to tell where one ends and another begins. Often the same designer will be responsible for online and offline creative, blurring the lines even more. Generally though, a designer will specialise in one discipline (either web or print) but will need to be able to be comfortable with the other in order to succeed in design.

What technologies do you use to design websites?

For functionality, we use php, an open-source, commonly used scripting language that is particularly well suited to web development and that can be inserted into HTML. For Content Managed Websites we use Wordpress, an open source, online website creation tool built in php. We use HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript to develop front-end website interaction, functionality and animation. We use SQL and MYSQL wherever we need a database, and from a design perspective we use the Adobe Creative suite to create for the web.

How do we go about building a website, and what web design is involved?

The process that ends up with a successful, beautifully designed, fully functional, well marketed and promoted usually begins with a great idea. Whether this idea is a product or service, or something to plug a gap in the market, a way of making money or something that entertains people - this idea is the key to making your project a success. You need to have a realistic expectation of what success looks like and a plan of how you're going to get there. You could have the best website in the world, and if your idea is a duffer, it's going to flop.

Once you have this idea and plan, an idea of how you're going to measure success, backed up with a good bit of market research you can think about how you're going to push your idea online. (The internet has become that significant that to not have a website in this day and age is not an option!). That's when Maddison Creative web design Newcastle comes in. We can help you with expert industry knowledge of what works and what doesn't. What can be achieved, and how we can achieve it. What you're going to need, how long it will take and how much it's all going to cost. We will generally then come up with a site structure, with a number of levels, and a flat design/visual/creative. Once these two key elements have been agreed then we set to work putting the two together and voila! You have a website. The hard work doesn't stop there though. Many people think that you build a website, and you can then sit back and watch it work its magic year after year. Unfortunately it's not like that - a website (and its search engine performance) are a living, breathing animal. You have to tend to it, update it, improve it, add to it and love it, otherwise it won't perform to it's maximum and you won't get most from it.

From a practical point of view, you need a domain (an address for your website so people can find it), you need a hosting company to provide you with space on one of their servers (a computer that you can access via the internet) and you need the files you create, nicely arranged into folders. Once you have all these, you attach your domain name to your server, and software that allows you to FTP (File transfer protocol) or upload your files onto your server. Once they're up there then the world can see your site and you're off!

Maddison Creative web design Newcastle can arrange all of this for you - we have great relationships with a number of hosting companies, and we use the latest FTP software, so it's not something you need to worry you - it's included in all new website packages. If you have an existing website and you like to keep the domain name and/or hosting provider, that's not a problem either, we can simply use your existing setup to upload the new site to.

How long might my web design project take and when will you be able to fit it in?

Just like estimating the cost of a website it's almost impossible to give an idea of how long a website might take to design and build without more specific infomration about what the web design project might entail. Once we've had an initial chat, we can give you a rough guide as to how long it might take, and then once you've given us a brief we can give you an idea of exactly how long it will take and when we can accommodate the request. We prode ourselves on being able to meet any (reasonable) deadline, and we can generally accommodate most jobs within two week period once the scope of work has been agreed - obviously the signoff date will vary on the complexity of the project.

More answers to web design questions...

Where to next?

Web Design | Online Advertising | Interactive Design | Email Design | Graphic Design | Video & Animation | Brand & Creative | Training | Design Consultancy