Designing for the Web is unlike other forms of design. Web design certainly involves aesthetics, but it is also inseparable from the many technical issues involved with Internet technology -- differing systems, browsers, and connection speeds for various end users; bandwidth and scalability issues; user interface design on the Web; integration with existing databases or other systems; and so forth.
We believe that intelligent Web site design includes many elements, a few of which we'll touch on here:
- Good user interface design means that a site is easily navigable and understood by even the most novice Web users, regardless of whether the site's content consists of a few dozen pages or a few thousand pages.
- The multimedia capabilities of a Web site have their place, but bandwidth management is critical in ensuring that end users do not become dissatisfied with lengthy download times. In some cases, it is worthwhile for the Web server to detect the connection speed of each end user and respond appropriately, so that people will either see graphics-intensive or scaled-down versions of the Web site depending on the speed of their Internet connectivity.
- Database-driven sites allow for a much broader range of applications than sites limited to simple, static pages. One advantage to using a database is that we can create mechanisms by which our clients can easily and securely update site contents without having to edit HTML pages or any of the programming underlying the site.
- When appropriate, personalize the experience for the end user. Like any computers, web servers have an excellent memory -- why not capitalize on this ability so that the Web site presents each end user with the information they are likely most interested in? Personalization technology is most frequently seen at on-line commerce sites, where visitors can be presented with the option to purchase items based on what they have purchased in the past, but the ability to individualize the end user's experience at the Web site has many more possible applications.
- The use of existing assets is often a primary factor in a site's success. Existing assets can include anything from graphics to databases to people -- with the idea that the Web site should not reinvent any wheels, nor should it clash with the organization's existing image. This often means that we will work with a client's graphic artists, key Information Systems staff, advertising or public relations agencies, and others as appropriate to ensure that the site leverages the organization's existing investments in its image, technology, and human resources.
Above and beyond everything else, intelligent Web site design means that a site should be integrated with the goals and operations of its organization. Our goal in working with our clients is to help them make the Internet and their Web site a valuable and integral part of their business.
Please contact us if you would like to speak with us about the development of your Web site.
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