In order to design and develop a website that looks awesome and also communicates function and is easy to access its contents, requires combination of multiple skills like copywriting, typography, layout and art, branding, color psychology, etc.
To make a successful website that functions properly and meets the goals of business, all of these elements needs to be fused. Along with the fusion of these skills, one needs to have a clear vision and think strategically (Fadeyev, 2008).
Hence, Strategic Design can be defined as the combination of both organizational/business goals and all the aspects to design process.
Here, implementing strategic design in website design means designing a website that meets the goals of any organization along with the pleasant user interface, and is also functional and easily accessible.
These days many websites are designed based on the design trends but fail miserably to achieve business goals and objectives.
Web design is an art that passes the right emotions and feelings emotions which ultimately help to achieve the common business goals. And Strategically thinking helps to achieve that aim of accomplishing the goals of an organization along with mesmerizing user interface.
In order to implement the strategic design process in website development, following steps can be followed
Before designing any website, we should be clear about the organizations goal and the goal behind the development of the website. For this we might have to talk or interview the related person in the organization.
In order to design a website with purpose, a clear direction is essential. Some of the common aims behind the development of the website are to sell product, to deliver information, to entertain, to provide service, etc.
Thus, the aim or goal needs to be clear, if we want to design a website that accomplishes the organizational objective.
Looks and functionality of a website totally depends upon the type of an organization’s website. The design greatly depends upon the demographics like age, gender, region, profession, etc. For e.g. a gaming website for a youngster will be totally different from a professional business journal.
Thus, to make a website that meets the organizational goal, identification of the audience is must.
These days, a lot of designer’s design website following the latest trends and without caring about the organizational values. They don’t care about the gist/story that the website is trying to portray, instead they make very fancy and glossy design.
Hence, the business fails miserably and the budget and resources go in vain.
So, to design a website strategically one should think about the brand identity like website design principles, typography, colors, fonts, images, etc. that is to be used while designing the website.
Different colors and different fonts carry or portray different emotions and feelings, and if they are not used properly then the users might not understand the thing that the website was trying to. Sometimes they may even get opposite meaning which will be a negative impression for the organization.
Thus, the website design must consider proper Brand Identity Design as well.
Once the goals of an organization are known, appropriate audience is identified, and brand identity is designed properly, the next step is to design a website based on these data.
For example, a strategic website design of an herbal product might include
i. Green as a primary color (natural color),
ii. Bold, clean and larger fonts might be used since the targeted audience might be the old peoples
iii. Clear and enough description in simple language
iv. Call or chat option to assist, etc.
Similarly, a website for a matrimonial organization might have
i. Red as primary color (since it is a symbol of love)
ii. Fancy, cursive font might be helpful to attract youngsters
iii. Register and login functionality option might be the must have feature.
iv. Profile with images and details like age and hobbies might be needed, etc.
Thus, the website design must be made based on the organizational goals.
Once the website is designed and deployed, measuring the rate of success is as important as developing it. In order to know whether the design is accomplishing the organizational goals or not, it needs to be measured regularly.
It the sites goals was to increase the number of signups, then you should check the growth of members, if its aim was to increase the user interaction then you should check the number or rate of like and comments on your site, for e-commerce number of sales should be measured.
Beside this, you might also want to collect feedback from the users. And with the feedback and the measurements from website if you find a trend, then you might need to sort out the problems if there’s any. At this point, measuring in depth might not be needed but the accomplishment of overall organizational objective must be monitored.
Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy which aims in continuous improvement with small steps.
While designing a website, we should consider it as a kaizen because the version which we’ve published is not the final one and doesn’t need to the final either.
There’ll always be a room for an improvement and the strategic design nature will allow it to introduce changes at any time.
Publishing a website isn’t like printing a magazine where it’s once printed can’t be changed. Instead the website lies on a server which can be changed or gradual improvements can be introduced to make it function better in the time being.