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May 18, 2012
What Effect Does Web Design have on Austin Businesses?
By: David Watson
Web design and Austin businesses go hand-in-hand. The design of a website speaks volumes to the credibility of a business. Austin has experienced such tremendous growth that Forbes names Austin the number one metropolitan area for jobs in 2012. Austin has also become home to many start-up businesses because of its proximity to many hi-tech companies and its growth in biotech and life sciences, now #12 in the United States. As a start-up company, one of the most important growth factors is marketing. Today, web design is such an integral part of a business’ marketing strategy. Nearly every business has a website and utilizes it to convey their history, mission, products and other relevant information to their potential customers. Web sites and web design are so vital to businesses, that Austin business owners invest thousands of dollars and a significant amount of time in developing their websites. But how much of an impact does design really have on the success of a business anyway?
A website represents a business to local, regional, national and international customers. It details the company, its people and its products and services, so that potential customers can make educated buying decisions. A well designed website will lend credibility to a business and improve the customers experience with that business. The better the experience, the more likely a customer is to repeating business with that business. In essence, web design is the life blood of the businesses presence on the Internet. Yet many business owners do not fully understand what web design entails. Web design is not just about creating “the look.” Web design also affects the flow and storage of information; as well as the user-friendliness of the site. Because many businesses use their websites for more than just presenting information, web design also encompasses backend development. Backend development relates to managing the website, gathering important information from potential customer and current customers and adding relevant information to the site in an effective and efficient manner. All of these pieces make up the overall design component of the website.
Some things to consider before starting a website are:
What is the site being used for?
What information is going to be presented?
What is information is most/least important?
Who is going to be reviewing the information presented?
What data gathering/storage capabilities does the site need to have?
What is the budget for the project?
It is best to talk with other people within the business and look at other sites within the industry to provide a baseline for the site design. Once the preliminary work has been done, it is time to contact a web designer to discuss the project. A good web designer will spend much of the initial meeting asking questions about the project, the business, competitors and things that might be important in developing the site. After the initial consultation, the web designer will discuss possibilities and determine what the budget is for the project. This will help the designer to know what approach to take and what the customer likes and does not like, what they find to be important and how they would like the information presented. Working closely with a web designer helps ensure that the designer captures the essence of what the client is trying to portray without the need for re-work and re-design. This will help to keep the cost down.