The Web design is the branch of graphic design dealing with planning, creation and maintenance of Internet pages. As any other type of design, this is based on converting ideas into material objects. That is to say, the ideas the customer has for its site are taken and converted into graphic objects that convey the message wanted. This is why the design work is widely different from the other services you may hire. If you, for instance, hire a telemarketing service to improve your customer care, the only thing you will need to do will be pay for it. On the contrary, when hiring a designer you will need to closely follow the work and take active part in it. If this is not achieved, the result will not be the expected one. A designer needs his customers’ instructions to achieve what he wants; the approval or non-approval of an outline, suggestions or different orders, etc. are required. All this is essential to make an appropriate work because no designer can work without those instructions.
The standard steps to create a site are the following: (This series is, of course, composed from the customer’s point of view, sticking to this site objective). Then, a designer is chosen and the work aim is introduced. Once your intentions are received, the designer suggests a quote. If you accept it, the designer will be able to meet with you or directly ask you to send the texts, data and pictures you wish to include in the site. Having all these things, the designer will draw an outline for your consideration. From there onwards, he and you will make changes until an appropriate design is achieved. Once agreed on how the design will be, the designer gives you your site finished so that you to ask for the final changes, if needed. Once the site is modified, it is sent to the programmer and then uploaded to the Internet.
Seeing this series, you may not see how the active participation of the customer is necessary. What happens is that if the customer does not do his best when introducing his objective and later when changing the outline, the work is brought to a halt. Most designers do not let the customer’s laziness stop them and they go on blindly. The problem is that at some point the customer remembers he is paying for the design and wants to fully change the work finished. That is why it is essential for you to take all the time you need to perfectly tell the designer what you want. However, we must make clear that a “perfect instruction” is not an explanation on how to make the design (this is the designer’s job) but telling what you want from him.
The Web design work object defines it as an activity. The Web site has three main features that will be shown below. This intends to give light to all this matter.
Interactivity: this is the feature distinguishing a Web site from any other design element. Any design conveys a message from the company to the public. In this information transference, the recipient has an absolutely passive role: he just gets the information and that is it. That is not the case of a Web site. Your site design conveys a corporate message adjusted to the company's aims but allows the recipient to reply to that message. Through the contact section of your Web page, the user will be able to return the company the impression the site has caused on him together with some other comments (concerns, questions, suggestions, etc.) The company will in turn have the chance to reply to the customer’s concern. There, the dialogue is established and the site has become an interactive object. This close relationship with the customers is beneficial from two points of view. Firstly, this closeness will make the customer feel on a reliable environment and highly consider the company. Secondly, all the information you can gather from the potential customers’ answers will be very useful when launching a marketing campaign. A marketing expert will be able to use all that knowledge to help your company significantly increase its sales and image.
However, there is another type of interactivity. The previous one could be called user-company and the next one, user-site, since the only human participation is the user’s. In this case, it is not a matter of relationship between people but the way a user can take part in the site for it to adjust to his needs. If you get a flyer on the street, you can only read the promotion shown on it. On the contrary, the Web site offers the chance to go over it only looking for the information you wish to get and offering ALL the possible information of the company. In this way, the user feels in control of the information he gets and does not get upset when getting something he does not wish to. This chance makes visitors be very willing to get all the information offered by the site.
Presence on the market: Internet is the medium most used when searching for companies, products and services. A good corporate site, well placed on the Web will increase your fame and prestige. Although your company may not use the site to sell, its mere existence will significantly increase your sales. This Web space is the chance to reach much more people and greatly introduce yourself getting presence and hierarchy. Nowadays, Internet is such a popular medium that there is no target group not directly affected by it.
Virtual office: when industrialization and the advancement of globalization came, communities dissolved and factories and companies providing economic life have migrated to different places and expanded. Thus, the daily contact with the company has been lost, the acknowledgement of the building they use as a reference point has disappeared and nobody knows what company works in their area or which their building is. This has led to a great loss, given these circumstances. A company-motley market has made them become abstract. Any abstract being needs a material object to use so as to be considered, as a concept needs a word. In the same way, abstract companies need a building to be acknowledged, but this element does not work like that any longer. Nowadays, the customers’ point of reference is not the company building but its Web site. They go there to get information, leave suggestions, find a job, buy, etc. Economic and social processes made company become an abstraction and there is nothing better than a virtual building for an abstract company.
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