With so many of us spending a large portion of our time on the web, a website often represents a person’s first impression of a company. Setting yourself apart with a visually appealing, engaging website featuring an enjoyable user experience can mean the difference between getting a customer’s business or not. You want a distinctive and innovative website that will keep visitors engaged while also reflecting the qualities of your business and what sets it apart.
Unfortunately, working with a web design company can sometimes be a step into the unknown. Will you get a website that fits you, or will you be cast off with a preformed template that has your logo plugged into it? Great web design involves putting together creative designs that appeal to visitors while serving as a differentiator for your company. Let’s take a look at how great web designers use their creativity and work with you to make a website that stands out from the crowd.
Great web designers use project parameters to spark creativity
The first thing great web designers do is formulate an understanding of the parameters of a particular project. This involves a basic understanding of the goals of a web project and how those goals work with the larger strategy of a business’s marketing initiatives. What is the target audience of the website? Sometimes a business will have particular attachments to specific fonts, colors, and branding ideas that they want to carry over to a new site. By communicating these to a web developer, you can ensure these are incorporated and that the web developer is clear about your expectations early in the process.
A web developer will also look to get some sense of the typical visitor who is coming to your site– this informs a great deal about even the smallest design decisions. What is the journey you want to take them on? Leading the user through an engaging experience on your website is what keeps them coming back and makes them more likely to become a customer of yours. Don’t worry, too, about placing too many constraints on your web designer. As any creative person will tell you, sometimes the particular constraints of a project are what brings out the most creative ideas!
Finding creative ideas in different places
After you’ve given your web developer clear parameters for the project and included things you’d definitely like to see in your new website, it’s time for them to get to work. As with most creative pursuits, it usually falls to one or a few people to come up with that defining idea of what the website will look like and how it will flow. Designers have different processes for sparking these creative moments and especially for working around those times when creativity is hard to come by or lacking in some way. In web development, it can often be helpful to check out what other developers are doing with their web designs to see if there are any new ideas that may spark something new. This doesn’t even need to be limited to other websites– depending on the industry your website is geared towards, specific inspiration can come from simply reading about that industry or looking at particularly striking images that are associated with it.
The web developer community also loves to bounce ideas off of each other. Online communities exist for exactly this purpose: whether it’s Dribbble for designers to give each other advice on works that are in progress, or Stack Overflow where users can get advice on coding issues they are dealing with.
Sometimes though, creativity just takes the time from stepping away to work on something else–a chance to let ideas ruminate in the subconscious. Even the anxiety associated with dealing with an unsolved problem can cause inspiration to strike. Another useful effort can also be to work on a personal side project for a while. Having experimental outlets with no fixed timelines can be helpful— enabling an outlet for creative problem solving to work on ideas that can then be brought to you, the client.
Making it all work together
Ultimately, a website project comes down to a developer generating creative ideas to fit within the discussed parameters of your project. Since you, as the client, are ultimately the one who has to live with a website, a consistent back-and-forth between yourself and the developer can help things stay on the right track. It’s useful for a website developer to get a sense of what their clients like and dislike about the particular way a project is going during the process–after all, sometimes people don’t know what they like until they see it. It helps here, as well, to have a dialogue touching on the specific aspects of a project that are working as well as highlighting those that are not.
It’s up to the developer then to incorporate these individual pieces or ideas into the final product. Starting small and working their way up to the finished piece while incorporating your ideas and desires for the final project. A good web developer will also not be afraid to take constructive criticism from you. Though it’s sometimes difficult to receive even the slightest negativity when it comes to a person’s own work, it’s important for the developer not to get discouraged, stay motivated, and work for those creative ideas and inspirations that truly satisfy what you, as the web site owner, are looking for. Creativity is a process— one in which you should be very much involved.
What role do you feel creativity plays in web design? Let us know in the comments below.