A task without a strategy is directionless and will never yield the desired results. Web design is no exception.
Clicking some buttons in Photoshop is not the beginning and end of web design. Instead, it is a complex art mixture of multiple skills, typography, copyrighting, layer creation, etc., which creates an impressive design and makes it function well.
To merge all the essential elements, you need guidance. It is when a master plan comes into the picture. A master plan will guide you throughout the design process to attain a specific goal. And the formulation of a master plan calls for strategic thinking.
What is Strategic Design?
Strategic design is the reflection of your organizational goals from the design of your website. When you design a user interface, your focus should be on the looks, usability, and accessibility and whether the interface will enable you to attain your organization’s objectives.
It is no secret that many websites look superb with the latest design trends, but they miserably fail when it comes to executing the intended function. But that also does not mean the design trends have lost their relevance. They give you the necessary techniques and inspiration to work.
Implementation of the techniques needs intelligence and focus. For example, you should focus more on usability and readability than style for a blog as it is not marketing material. But graphics and style are essential for a promotional website to portray a distinct look and feel.
If you implement a currently trending design without any assessment about how it will portray the business behind it, you are not likely to get an effective result.
Web design is not only about crafting a beautiful interface, but it is also about communication, usability and accessibility that exudes the right emotion and feeling.
These elements should be in the right tune and sync with the goals of your business. Strategic design is all about projecting your business goals in the design.
How to Implement a Strategic Design?
Keep in mind that your website acts as a carrier of your business image and message to your target audience. So, you need to transmit the message effectively to enable the receivers to understand your business goals quickly.
It is a good idea to collect different creative ideas before you start the design process.
A strategic web design can help them absorb your message with ease, and here are the impactful ways to actuate it.
Set Your Goals
In the first step of the design process, set the goals you want to achieve. Before you start your design project, identify the goals of your business.
To identify your business goals, ask yourself the objective of your design. If you are yet to have a perfect answer, then the best thing to do is discuss it with your team, as you cannot strategically design your website without a clear direction.
Bear in mind that your website is not a piece of art. It is a tool for spreading your business objectives among your target audience.
The objective can be anything–selling products, providing entertainment, giving information and access to services.
Regardless of what your objective is, the design must project it to your target audience.
Know Your Audience
Identifying and knowing the tastes and preferences of your target audience is the key prerequisite to a strategic design. The needs of your target audience will determine how you should design your website.
Apart from your audience’s needs, demographics also play an essential role in determining the look and feel of your website. For example, the design for a video game website has to be different from a business website. While the audience for the video game website is young people, adults are the audience for the business website.
Usability is another factor to consider as there are people with varied technical knowledge. Some have more; others have less.
Therefore, do not jump at designing your website without considering your target audience.
Know Your Brand Image
You should make sure that your website design will not hurt your brand image. Many designers tend to implement the latest design without caring about its impact on the brand image of the business or what message it will be conveying.
Stuff like glossy buttons, gradients and reflective floors may not be right for your brand, although they work for some websites.
Select the right colour. Determine the look and feel you want to have on your website and the emotions you want to radiate. The design should emit the character of your brand.
You have now established the goals of your business, outlined your website’s purpose, identified and understood your target audience, and determined your brand image.
The subsequent step is to implement those in your design strategy. To understand how to synchronize those with your design strategy, read the following example:
Say your objective is to increase the number of subscribers to your online service. You can incorporate three elements in the design to achieve your objective.
Make the “About Us” snippet on your landing page clear and concise. It will enable visitors to understand your services quickly. Make the registration button or link stand out by using the right colour and contrast. It will make it visible for visitors to spot the button or link swiftly, increasing the chances of sign-ups.
It is also important to simplify the registration process so that people do not get turned off. Do not include unnecessary and optional elements. Usually, people do not like to register if the form looks long.
Regardless of your goals, you need to shape and focus all the design elements towards meeting your goals.
The main goal of strategic design is to attain your business objectives through the design. But, your designer might lose track of your goals and fall for a beautiful and latest design. In such a case, you will gain nothing from that design, although it can look attractive. If you do not have competent resources, you can always avail of a company’s services that provide custom website design services. So make sure that your designer does not fall off your business goals during the design process. After implementing the design, do not fall behind in measuring the success.
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