My first experience with website development was back in 2011 when my employer hired a 3rd party company to design our new website. The designer gave me a form to fill out that asked me to list out my goals for the site, the types of pages I wanted, the overall navigation, the keywords to focus on, and any text content I wanted to incorporate. Navigation? Keywords? Goals?? This form was daunting to say the least. I thought that once you pay the designer, they’ll just put it together and you’ll have your site. I didn’t realize there were so many questions I had to answer on my side. After a lot of explanations, I was able to fill out the form and submit it. Whew, my job was done. Or so I thought…
Over the next few months, the designer and I had multiple meetings to discuss the overall design and content. Who knew that what I thought were minute details actually had a large impact on the overall user experience on a webpage? I had to consider image sizes, quantity of videos I wanted to embed, minimum number of words for each page, and keywords to incorporate.
I started doing my own research to see how every aspect played a significant role in affecting the overall ranking of a website. With a lot of help from online forums, discussions with the website designer, and YouTube videos, I began to understand what the designer was looking for and why it was important.
After a lot of education, we completed the site and launched! There were some glitches at first in terms of functionality of contact forms, but we got those resolved and had a beautiful end product. All those months of meetings was worth it in the end when I received positive feedback from our users.
What I learned was that designing a website wasn’t as simple as putting together some text you want to showcase to your clients. A good designer considers how the website functions on the backend and also what the user experiences on the front end to give you a complete design.