Five Essential Strategies for Enterprise Web Design
A well-crafted website is a sign of an enterprise that takes all facets of their business seriously. Often times a website is the first point of contact for potential customers or leads interested in your products or services. In order to drive new business and maintain competitive advantage, enterprise websites must adapt to new industry standards.
When dealing with potentially millions of visitors to a brand’s website, consistency is a major issue. Editing mistakes, poor design and irrelevant content can also turn users off within seconds of seeing a page. In a nutshell, all facets of compatibility, content, usability and site layout serve to influence the perception of a company by its customer base.
Through our firm’s experience with web projects for international brands like National Geographic and Fox, I have found the following aspects of design and development to be crucial for designing sites for enterprise clients:
1. Incorporate Device Compatibility with Responsive Design
With the multitude of computing devices, do you know which devices your customers use most to access your website? Designing a website with compatibility for tablets, smartphones and computers is vital to increasing web traffic and attracting business from a global audience. Responsive web design serves as a way to attend to the multi-device challenge.
Incorporating responsive design into web development will ensure a website’s consistency of quality from whatever device it is accessed. If a substantial percentage of your site visits stem from mobile, and your site is not mobile optimized, you are likely losing clickthroughs from potential mobile customers.
2. Contemplate the User During Development
Web development that focuses on the user experience results in a digital design process that ensures optimal usability. Expert web developers map out the functionality of a website through the use of wireframes. Wireframes effectively detail the operations of every click, drop down menu, image feature or page layout in order to create a seamless user experience.
Navigating a website should occur in a natural intuitive way. Once a user feels impeded by the poor design of a site layout, they head over to a competitor. For example, one of the best ways to lose new customers is to make contact information five pages deep instead of available through a single click.
3. Focus on Digital Design and Information Architecture
The best web developers out there are inspired by real world architects. Architects design buildings with the person’s direct experience in mind. Informed architecture within web development is not just about writing compelling content, it’s also about using it to augment the UX and wire framing stages.
By placing functionality above aesthetics, the world’s best web developers consistently deliver an end product that is a pleasure to navigate. A website should offer up a fulfilling experience for the user interested in buying your product or paying for your services.
4. Realize That Content Drives Traffic
Content within a website is also key to a professional web presence. Text within a page is the main driver for increasing traffic. Search engine optimization strategies can bring increased visibility for your page. For instance, are you properly displaying the entirety of your product and service offerings? In order to streamline the updating and revisions to content, content management systems such as Drupal are highly suggested.
CMS solutions like Drupal, Tridion, and others allow for easy access to a website for editing content within web pages. Drupal, as well as other CMS offerings, is designed for users with zero knowledge regarding coding. CMSs are incredibly useful for managing content on multi-lingual sites for international enterprises. Consistently updated content that meets SEO guidelines is vital for increased web visibility and higher revenue generating traffic.
5. Acknowledge the Value of Microsites
In order to maximize the ROI of a website, there are numerous innovative ways besides design that can grow a business. For instance, traditional business documentation such as case studies and white papers can be adapted for the new era of Internet consumption. Sites with affiliated micro-sites addressing specific aspects of a business are becoming more common.
Micro-sites are similar to blogs in terms of being focused on a specific aspect of a company’s services, experience and offerings. A micro-site is easier to share and access than attachments and provides specifically focused content for certain products, services or marketing efforts.
Designing a successful website takes preparation, knowledge of user context and keen insight regarding how web users search and assess websites. Approaching a website with an understanding of the end-user experience as well as strategy for spurring revenue and informing visitors, is central to the web design process.