Web design is the art (and science) of creating the visual aspects and layout of a website. A website is the foundation of one’s digital marketing strategy and web presence. On the outside, web design can be seen as simply aesthetics, but at its core, it is a key piece of the user experience.
As stated by Top Design Firms 2021, 42% of people will leave a website because of poor functionality. Web design is not simply a trade for vanity sake, but determines whether or not a client will buy. Web design affects brand image, conversion rates, lead generation and ROI of marketing and sales activity.
As a website design company, we see this service as an opportunity to leverage our creativity to solve problems for our clients. This means educating and inspiring them, which is exactly what MOJO wants to provide in this article. We want to inspire you with examples of beautifully crafted websites, but also educate you so that your next website offers more than just good looks.
What Makes Quality Web Design
As you look into various website design companies and services, it’s important to know what makes a successfully designed website. Understanding this will help in vetting web designers and it will also help ensure your new website will fit its intended function.
Like we mentioned before, it’s more than pleasing aesthetics. While it may seem simplistic to those on the outside, there is a lot that goes into proper web design. Here are several key factors that go into an accurately designed website:
- End product is aesthetically pleasing
- Simplistic design
- Content flows well
- Layout is easy to understand and navigate
- Colors look attractive but also evoke the right emotional response
- Design elements that lead to a positive user experience
- A well-structured design process
When it comes to quality web design it all comes down to creating a paramount user experience. How beautiful a website seems means nothing if it’s impossible to navigate and frustratingly slow to respond. If the overall design and features are not strategically mapped and functioning properly to please your target audience, it can cause users to leave your site and turn to a competitor that has an easily accessible website.
A designer's processes are key aspects in making sure the design and overall user experience will be successful. A good designer will keep the end-user at the forefront and will have a well-established process to keep them focused and organized.
Web Design Examples to Inspire
When it comes to vetting a website design company or coming up with a new design for your organization, the best way is by exploring real-life examples. Being able to see the end result will allow you to know if a company knows its stuff but it will also inspire you.
Here are examples from local Maryland businesses that have effectively designed websites.
From nonprofit organizations to international businesses and even independent entrepreneurs. Everyone can benefit from a custom built website.
Web Design Process
If you’re thinking about a potential web design project in your future it helps to know the process. This will help you curb your expectations and align the launch of your new website with other marketing initiatives. Regardless of your future plans it’s important to be prepared and know the process.
Every designer is going to be different so everyone has their own process. Here is MOJO’s design process:
- Creative Brief - understand the client’s needs
- The Sitemap - outline the site’s structure for visualization
- Wireframes - a black and white model providing structural view without being bogged down by image selections and colors
- Color Mockups - a flat representation of the website and how various elements will work together
- Prototype - an interactive front-end website is created
- Development - the project is handed off to the web development team for completion
- Website Launch and Quality Assurance - site is launched and monitored with quality assurance
Though the process may look different for every organization, a quality web design company worth its price will have a strategic design process.
Because web design is more than slapping visuals and animations on a web page, a quality process is a crucial part of website redesigns and new builds regardless of size. Without a process such as this, you may end up with a broken website or one that lacks the necessary elements to meet your needs.
Web Design Services to Choose From
Every individual and organization has their own goals for their website. For some, it’s the core of their marketing strategy, for others, it’s a simple branding tool. This means that everyone will be looking for something tailored for their business needs.
Some will want a redesigned look and feel which may include an updated logo. While another could be starting an e-commerce business that needs a unique website built from the ground up with unique functionality.
Because there are various needs there are many applicable services. Here are some of the services you can expect to find from a web design agency, company, or designer:
- New or updated website look
- Responsive mobile design
- Custom website and landing page creation
- New logo and graphic design to enhance the website
- CMS and app integrations
While some smaller shops or freelancers may be limited in their service offerings, most organizations can provide you with the listed web design services above.
When it comes time for your website project, you want to ensure that the company you choose offers not only graphic design but everything you need to ensure a successful website launch with a phenomenal user experience. This means considering additional services outside of website design.
Here are examples of other services you may want to consider:
- Website Hosting
- Mobile App Development
- Content Creation
Having a pretty website is one thing, but there’s much more to it, such as hosting your website and exposing your website to as many future customers as possible. These services extend beyond website design and development and are essential in ensuring the highest return on your website investment.
Some web design companies may offer these services but most often you will need to find a web design agency if you want to hire a single company to take care of all aspects of the web design project.
The difference between the two isn’t necessarily in quality, however, rather than an agency will have experts in different fields such as SEO, branding, solutions architecture, etc., with the knowledge to properly satisfy the service requirements.
Choosing a Web Design Company in Maryland
Individuals have the option to hire a web design company or build a website with their own hands. Even with the rise of content management systems and website builders that utilize predesigned templates, many businesses choose to opt for hiring a web designer. This is because outsourcing website design is easier, fully customizable, and the end product is of a much higher quality.
This is usually true regardless of whether you are looking for a brand new site, a redesign of your current one, or simply updating the look and feel. However, knowing you want to hire a web design company and knowing which one to hire is a completely different beast.
Throughout Maryland alone there are numerous freelancers, one-man design shops, web design companies, and full-service marketing agencies. With so many options available it can be mind-numbing trying to figure out which company is going to do the best job.
Before you begin randomly contacting companies for quotes, you should know what you are looking for in a company.
Here are a few things to look for to help you vet and choose the best web company for your project:
- Do they have a quality process?
- Are their reviews abundant and positive?
- Do they have real case studies or examples that inspire you?
- Are they experienced?
- Do they keep up with the latest trends?
- Do they offer services above and beyond graphic design to help you achieve your goals?
- Can they meet your development and integration needs?
- After calling, did you have a positive initial impression and experience with their team?
At the end of the day, you want someone who is going to be easy to work with, able to satisfy your needs and a company who you can see yourself working with as a long-term partner.
While your immediate goals may be short-term, you will likely find yourself in need of additional website services as time goes on. Just like a good barber or mechanic, the right web design company can simplify your process and make life easier.
At MOJO, we’ve been helping businesses with creative custom website solutions for nearly 20 years. We’ve had a lot of success with our website solutions and owe most of this success to talented graphic designers and steadfast processes.
So, if you’re looking for a good website design company, make sure they have a well-established process and quality designers. They will be the keys to your website launching successfully.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.