Most of our business comes from clients who already have websites and are looking for an upgrade to a modern content management system like Adobe Business Catalyst. That said, I find myself looking at a lot of other web designer's work. What amazes me is the lack of attention to detail in the work.
First, this is not intended to bash other designers and developers. For the most part (and there are definitely exceptions), the code I see is good and the layouts are fine. What's missing is the attention to detail, specifically, the boring stuff!
Details, details, details
Here are some examples of details so-called professional web designers often overlook:
- Optimizing browser page titles
- Optimizing page URLs
- Optimizing H1 tags
- Using ALT tags for all images
- Spelling errors (ok, I admit...I'm bad at this one, but I try)
- Clearly defining "who you are and what you do" IMMEDIATELY on the homepage
- Linking the logo "back home" (not necessarily a rule, but it's expected by most users)
- Including COMPLETE contact information (personally, I like to have at least a contact link and phone number on each and every page.
- Including a tag line near the logo (not required, but helps define "who you are and what you do"
- Not customizing error pages and messages for when things go wrong. Nothing is more annoying than seeing the "stock" error message.
- Not having a CLEAR call to action and more importantly, not finishing the job by including a well-written auto-responder (with contact information) and friendly landing page (with possibly some up-sell information).
I'm sure there are other details I'm forgetting, but these are the obvious ones that should be included in the design and development cycle. I know many designers consider "optimization" as part of SEO, and "usability" as part of strategy...which is just code for additional billable hours down the road.
These details, if addressed during the design and development cycle are much easier to do and should be built into the initial estimate. Cutting corners to force-fit a budget is not worth it in the long run.
Please feel free comment on this, or contact me with questions.
At HighTouch, we sweat the details.