website design

Are you being served?

What is it that makes a successful website? There are a few essentials:

  • Does it work for the users?
  • Does the look reinforce and enhance your image?
  • Does it effectively promote your message, product, or service?
  • Is it easy to maintain and update?

Without even going beyond these basics, it’s certain that a large percentage of current sites don’t make the grade.

A site that works

Ultimately, you want a site that works for the users. The pages have to be optimized to download quickly and marked up to display correctly and consistently across the range of modern browsers. Then the content has to be clear and the navigation should be intuitive. And of course, the information users are looking for should be easy to find.

The following are just a few of the considerations, but consider how often you encounter these problems in sites you visit:

  • It’s not clear what is a link and what isn’t.
  • You can’t tell where you are in the site.
  • You came to the site to find some specific contact information — a phone number or address — and you can’t find it.
  • When you bookmark a specific page on the site, the page title (and thus the default name of the bookmark) doesn’t clearly describe the page.

And these problems occur on large, professional sites. They occur frequently.

A site that looks good

Visually you want an attractive and clean design that reinforces, but doesn’t distract from, the message and/or purpose of the site. You want to stand out from other sites, and especially those of your competitors. See the On Point section for articles about websites. In our latest installment we discuss how you can actually put video right on your Web page, by using Video in Flash. It's a new potential you need to know about.


You also want a site that’s easy to update, friendly to search engines, and that can be easily adapted for new requirements (display on PDAs and cellphones perhaps). At Designshift, when working on new or completely redesigned sites, we focus on standards-based development — creating sites that conform to standards established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Through the optimized use of stylesheets we create sites that are not only easier to maintain and update, but that can more readily accommodate changing browsers and display environments.

Make it happen

If you are considering a new site or a redesign of your existing site, or even if you just want to start improving what you already have, please contact Designshift.

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