Design for the unpretentious

'Design' does not mean some superficial styling applied as an afterthought to spice up a boring looking site.

True design consists of sound engineering and is essential to a useful website. Good website design includes:

  • defining site type - wether simple static pages, a blog or a full content managed site.
  • information architecture - specifying the site sections - including galleries, wikis, forums, commerce etc
  • dynamics - how the user will interact with the site - navigation and forms
  • graphic design - the overall appearance - colours, typography, layout
  • plans for the future - thinking about maintenance and growth
  • accessibility - impacts on at least two of the above

The purpose driven website

All these elements of design should derive from the purpose of your site - something that we don't initially know, and that you may be somewhat unsure about. Therefore we follow a standard process that we have found helpful:

Initial discussions

We will listen and talk and question and debate with you – until we understand what you do and what want others to know and do. At the end of this the purpose will be clear, and some design elements will have emerged.

You may already have clear ideas on aspects of the design and that’s good, but this time is essential for us, and is usually very productive for you.

Initial proposal

When agreed on the type of site and its purpose, we will start on the planning, detailing these aspects outlined above, and in particular the site type and architecture. This will form the basis of our proposal/contract. Sometimes we may have an initial graphic design ready at this point, sometimes not.

For small sites - the proposal may be a single sheet of paper, listing the various site elements [e.g. home page, map, about]. For large sites the proposal will be a significant document.

After contract signing

Once we have the go ahead, we will generally present you with a limited number of designs, from which the final graphic design is selected. We tend toward creating sample webpages for these mockups, since it is easier changing typography, moving things around a bit to get the desired results. These mockups may use existing logo's, graphics etc or may be completely fresh. The selected mockup then forms the basis for the look and feel of the site.

At this point we then complete the site architecture, code the navigation tools, and start populating the site.

We don't like to deliver sites that are a suprise. So, once there is something to see, you will be able to see it working [at a hidden location]. This will enable you to give comments and suggestions. Obviously, if you want radical changes - new site sections for example, then some renegotation will be necessary.

We will always aim to use best practise in coding your site.

Alternate styles

There are a number of different layouts or 'skins' for this site: company, rainbow, child, calm, stormy, austere, high contrast and more...


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