Custom Web Design or Redesign

Three Basic Elements of Web Design

1. Information Gathering  The first step in designing a successful website is gathering information. Many things need to be considered when conceiving the look and feel of a site.

Warren Camp starts by asking a client preliminary questions so he can understand the client's business or organization and the needs and expectations for the new or redesigned website.

  •  Purpose  Why build this site? Will you sell a product or service? Provide information?
  •  Aims and Goals  What do you want the site to accomplish? Will e-commerce be needed?
  •  Target Audience  Who is your ideal end-user? Have you considered his or her age, sex, interests?
  •  Content  What will you provide? Information? Products or services? Photos? Videos? A blog?

Click here for Warren's comprehensive list of information-gathering questions.

Your Two-Part Preliminary Portfolio

Your "paper portfolio"  Warren also asks his clients to produce a simple paper version of their proposed site. (Click the two sample thumbnails below to enlarge them.) Each drawn page should suggest what will be included in these elements: the company header; a navigational menu system; a suggested column structure for various pages; areas for contents, photos and images; and a footer.

Your "digital dialogue"  With each completed "paper portfolio" page, Warren asks his clients to create a digital file that suggest the intended text for that page, including the page's headline, subheads, and paragraphs; where photos or graphics are to be placed, descriptive captions should be provided. Each text file should be titled appropriately so it clearly relates to its respective paper page.

2. Planning  Using the information that clients gather (Phase 1, shown above) and reviewing their paper portfolio and digital dialogue files, Warren puts together a plan for each page, including specifications for column numbers and sizes, header and footer configurations, and content area sizes and shapes. (Click the three images below to see examples.) At this point he also creates a rough draft of the site map — a list of a site's main topic areas and sub-topics, if applicable. Essential to developing a consistent, understandable navigational system, a site map is a guide to what and where content will appear on a site.

End-users — often the client's customers — must be kept in mind throughout the planning phase because they are, after all, the people who'll learn about and hopefully want the featured service or product. A good user interface can produce an intuitive, enjoyable navigation for an entire site. When designing a user interface, web designers create a site-wide structure that includes a site's theme, as well as addressing how readers will know what to click and what path to take through its pages.

3. Visual Elements  During the design process, web designers imagine, create, and homogenize a site's visual elements: the look and feel of the site, including graphics, colors, styles, and layout.

Which visual elements to include is determined by a site's target audience. A site aimed at teenagers, for example, will look much different from one meant for a financial institution. As part of the design phase, it's also important to incorporate elements, such as a brand logo and complementary colors, to help strengthen the site's identity.

Warren usually creates one or more design prototypes of a proposed home page to show clients how the preliminary design looks. He often sends clients email with mockups throughout the design and the development phase, providing them the opportunity to express their likes and dislikes. Clear, prompt communication is essential throughout the three-part web-design process.

Whether it's a new design, redesign, or renovation, your website will become an online extension of your organization, church, company, brand, and product. It's critical that your site stands out from the crowd, commanding attention while encouraging return visits. Warren Camp Design specializes in designing and building attractive, user-friendly, interactive sites. Warren uses only the very best standards-based coding practices.

  • Need a New Site?   Warren would enjoy helping you build your site into a high-quality, attractive site in today's competitive online marketplace. See the large collection of Warren's recent web page creations in the left column.
  • Already Have a Site?   Whether you want to add a little punch or commission a complete makeover, Warren would enjoy designing, developing, and executing custom solutions that meet your needs and objectives. Using proven design techniques, Warren creates small or highly complex sites that reflect a client's unique brand while making visitors feel comfortable visiting it again and again.

Perhaps your existing site needs only some freshening up and a little restyling. Warren will evaluate your site's look, feel, and usability and suggest ways to improve it. He might propose a new color theme, a striking header image, a more appropriate menu system, or a few new photos; he might show you how basic copyediting and proofreading of your text would improve its readability; or he might see only the need to edit existing photo images to enhance your message.

Check out Warren's web-specific pages:

Web Design  |  Web Development

Examples of Effective Website Basics

Informational Q & A  |  Search Engine Optimization

Improving SEO Rankings  |  Tracking Site Performance

Evaluating Google Analytics  | Marketing and Promotion

Analyzing and Improving Your Existing Site

If your website doesn't stand out and do a lot of things right, chances are it's not going to achieve your goals. If you need a new site, discuss the possibilities with Warren to get a feel for the effort and cost involved. If you want to renovate an existing site, Warren can examine it to see what you're doing right and wrong and what you're forgetting to do. New or existing, his insights and recommendations can help make a difference in the success or failure of your site.

If you'd like Warren Camp Design to create a new site, redesign or freshen up your existing site, or evaluate your site objectively, or call WCD at 209-795-7661.