For our clients the balance of web design is usually a decision of budget vs the type of website that they receive;
Do they, for example, want to go for a low cost off-the-shelf WordPress solution, or have a large custom or Drupal website built? Do they want PayPal buttons or a full eCommerce system? A regular design or one that will win an award? As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.
For the web agency though, the balance of website design is far more complex and there are lots of things to consider.
A visually well designed website, arguably has lots of images and white space, yet a website good for search engines is likely to require more text.
Websites that are maintenance free are often favoured by clients, but Google likes websites that are frequently updated.
Should we build a website with effects and funky widgets, or make one simple, easy to use, and backwards compatible with older browsers, mobile phones and tablets?
With mobile devices in mind, what size screen should we optimise a website for? Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, large desktops, or all of the above?
What about accessibility of websites? Should we sacrifice any aspects of a website’s look for functionality to make the website easier for disabled users? Where do we draw the line?
The problem is that there is no right answer for all of these questions; it’s a balance that we as a web agency need to get right. We need to carefully consider the needs of our clients and importantly the end users.
With this in mind the user experience (UX) is often paramount, and where we usually start. But this is also not as simple as it sounds as users come in varying flavours, from the novice to the expert, from human to a computer (Google is also a user) and even users with different goals in mind when they use the website. We even need to strike a balance between each individual user journey.
Increasing the budget will certainly help, and that’s why some web designers charge more than others; they can tick more boxes and make a website that performs better. Unfortunately we live in a society ruled by money, and budgets are not unlimited, so as soon as a cap is applied compromises are made.
A decent web agency will be able to offer varying solutions with varying budgets and get the balance correct.
We are Webbed Feet, we juggle websites.