One of the most important resources that can be provided by an IT services unit in any company is web design. It goes without saying that if your company has a presence on the web and it is not used to its fullest potential, then you are missing out on huge volumes of business. As you are probably aware, the Internet abounds with hundreds of millions of websites and, depending on your business, there is an increasing number of competitors entering your market every day around the world. But you might be surprised to discover that many websites fail to capitalise on their potential by not adhering to principles of good design and visitor usability.
It's easy to draw a parallel with a physical store in that if you don't display your goods properly and have a welcoming entrance, you are unlikely to attract even the most casual passerby. It is the same with a website: you have to provide an easily navigable entrance and grab a visitor's attention immediately to entice them further.
Design is not simply a thing of beauty, it is a matter of functionality and, unfortunately, many Web designers fall into the trap of producing a beautiful design which falls short when it comes to ease of navigation.
It is important to get the blend absolutely perfect in order to maximise your online sales and there are some important issues which need to be covered.
Apart from having an in-depth knowledge of code, a good web designer will build a site with a simple architecture. This means that your page will load quickly and that visitors will be instantly presented with an easy to understand interface that enables them to find what they are looking for as quickly as possible. It doesn't matter whether you have a huge variety of products or not, you must think of your design in terms of how well it serves the needs of your visitor.
Layout is the next most important thing that any business needs to consider. In keeping with the principles mentioned above, your site needs to be logically laid out and colour-coded so that visitors are left in no doubt as to the range of products you have available which can be easily found through a simple menu system.
Navigability is something which many web designs sadly lack. The navigation of your site should be prominently placed either at the top of the page or easily seen in a sidebar so that visitors can logically detect the layout of your site and go straight to the area they wish.
Most importantly perhaps is the element of content. It should be a no-brainer but your content must be written for both human visitors and for search engines. This means you have to strike a neat balance between using keywords that allow search engines to understand the content of your site and so rank it accordingly, as well as providing information which is relevant to web surfers so they can find the information they were seeking.
These few tips are only the start and your IT services department should be given full rein to provide a design that satisfies every criteria.