If you’re responsible for marketing, you’ll be well aware of the importance of a great content management system (CMS) for digital products like your website, mobile apps, staff portals, and so on. You may even need to create bespoke digital processes or systems unique to your business, such as internal training platforms or communications channels.
WordPress is the most popular CMS available today, powering almost 45% of the world’s websites. That popularity is on the rise, too, as more and more businesses realise the vast potential of the platform and the benefits it can deliver.
However, there’s still a misconception that WordPress isn’t suitable for large businesses. That’s no more than a myth, though. In fact, some of the biggest companies in the world use WordPress for their CMS.
But what are the specific reasons why that popularity has spread into the enterprise market over the past decade or so? To answer that question, let’s take a detailed look at the benefits and advantages WordPress offers large businesses:
1 – Scalability and Agility
WordPress is famous for its high level of scalability. However large your company, or the size and complexity of your site – as well as the amount of traffic passing through it – WordPress won’t have any problem managing that load.
Scalability is one of its most prominent advantages for large businesses, because it’s also agile enough to easily evolve and grow alongside your changing requirements.
The platform is more robust than most realise as well, with enterprise-grade performance and speed. This great performance also means user adoption and retention will always be high, helping you drive strong return on investment (ROI) on all the digital products you build.
2 – Flexibility and Customisation
WordPress is equally renowned for its flexibility and customisation, which are particularly useful for complex or bespoke development projects. You can use its flexibility to build bespoke features and functionality into your website or create an entirely unique system from scratch.
In large organisations where company-specific processes and workflows are common within your sites, this makes WordPress a highly beneficial option.
3 – Fast Time-to-Market
Thanks to its simplicity and intuitive usability, WordPress is a very efficient platform to build with. That gives you the advantage of delivering development projects with a very fast time-to-market. This is a significant benefit of any CMS, as it helps you save time, reduce costs, and provides more opportunity to test, iterate, and innovate.
4 – Integration
WordPress is very easy to integrate with other systems. Because most large enterprises have a lot of legacy technology to consider when implementing new systems, this is a huge benefit WordPress has over more cumbersome CMSs.
WordPress also integrates very well with back-end systems that are vital to your daily operations, such as HubSpot, Salesforce, PowerBi, and so on. This minimises disruption to your business while integrating WordPress into your existing tech stack.
5 – Low TCO and Strong ROI
WordPress comes with a very low total cost of ownership (TCO) when compared to other options. Unlike most CMSs, you won’t need to invest heavily in adding new features or capabilities, and you won’t need to worry about expensive extra work to manage upgrades or updates from the platform.
Because WordPress is so agile and rich with dynamic capabilities and features, it’s also proven to deliver strong ROI in both the short and long-term.
From a long-term value perspective, your initial projects won’t just stop at initial implementation, either. As your project or requirements evolve and your business grows, WordPress can seamlessly adapt and grow with you.
Other Points to Consider
It’s important to remember that every business, and every project, is different. While the benefits listed here do make WordPress an excellent CMS, you should still carefully evaluate how well it aligns with your specific objectives, requirements, budget, and other needs.
It’s also important to understand that most businesses will need the support of an agency with platform-specific skills and expertise to help you leverage a CMS to its full potential. As is the case with all platforms, it will be vastly easier to achieve your objectives and gain greater ROI, if you have the support of an experienced specialist partner to guide you.
If you’d like to learn more about WordPress, or need help deciding whether it’s a suitable option for your own requirements, we have a comprehensive guide to evaluating and selecting the enterprise options for a CMS here.
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- A bespoke website that differentiates you from your competitors
- An online portal, either for training internal users or providing a more engaging experience for your clients
- A new platform that can better integrate with your legacy systems
- A new content management system (CMS) that can provide greater flexibility and scalability
- A way to transform time-consuming, inefficient manual processes into a unique, easy-to-use digital tool.
- Proven financial services sector experience and success
- A strong track record with complex bespoke development projects
- A long-term partner who can advise and guide you to make the correct decisions
- Certifications and accreditations
- Compliance with financial services industry regulations
- Secure hosting, with back-up, disaster recovery, and risk mitigation plans
- Security built into the core of every project
- Automated monitoring, maintenance, and support services
- Ongoing updates and optimisation for your platform
- Training and learning to help you gain maximum value from your investment.
- Improving your internal UX, creating greater operational efficiency
- Improving your external UX, providing more convenient, intuitive services to customers
- Streamlining mission-critical processes to reduce costs
- Building enterprise-grade security into the core of your systems
- Enabling real-time interactions with data
- Increasing customer retention and loyalty
- Achieving competitive differentiation
- Accelerating business growth.
- Quality Assurance Testing
- Migration and Launch.
- Website Data
- Target Audience
- Industry Landscape
- Your target audience now has a shorter attention span, and less patience when browsing websites and services online
- Your target audience also has more choice of options than ever before when choosing who to buy from.
Latest from agency
3 February, 2023
What a Successful Bespoke Development Project Should Look Like for Financial Services Businesses
As a business in the financial services industry, you have to navigate a range of sector-specific challenges that make it difficult to meet current user expectations with technology. This article will explain why a bespoke development project is often the most effective way to solve those challenges, and provide guidance on how to approach such a project.
For a long time, apprehension towards cyber security and data protection, alongside challenges with decades-old legacy systems, meant that many businesses in the financial services sector were a bit behind the technology curve. Banks and other financial services companies weren’t typically known for their impressive websites or sleek digital processes, at least not until fairly recently. Those days are long gone now, though, as digital transformation and technology-driven innovation have changed the financial services industry forever.
Today, both your clients and employees alike expect a seamless digital experience when interacting with your services and processes. And meeting these expectations has become increasingly important over the past 10 years or so, as the more traditional finance businesses have faced disruption from trends like FinTech and digital banking.
But whether you’re a long-standing financial institution, or an early-stage FinTech start-up, there’s a common priority among businesses in this industry – you simply must keep up with the pace of technology in order to stay relevant with your customers and maintain your competitive edge.
Changing Demands from Your Audience of End-Users
The technology trends we’ve highlighted there will have caused you to shift large parts of your business model online over the past few years. Consequently, that will have created a range of new challenges for you.
Whatever services or products you provide, your clients now expect the same convenient, effortless experience they’re used to with the technology they use on their smartphones every day.
When interacting with businesses, most people want to be able to do everything for themselves online, ideally without having to interact with a sales-person or customer service rep. If you can’t enable this self-service in a simple and efficient way, your customers will be left frustrated.
Cyber Security and Data Protection
The amount of data passing through your business is mind-blowing. All that data can be placed at risk if any technology attached to your corporate network is not secure. When you’re working with such highly sensitive financial data and strict industry regulations, all your technology must be highly secure.
Your digital systems need to be highly intuitive, dynamic, and, perhaps most importantly, simple and easy-to-use. That should ideally be the case for all systems, both client-facing and internal.
If your current website feels clunky, unintuitive, or difficult to navigate, your clients will not hesitate to go elsewhere. While that may have been acceptable with cumbersome legacy systems in the financial services market 20 years ago, it’s simply not an option today.
People will leave a company’s website forever after one poor experience. This demonstrates just how important an excellent user experience (UX) is in retaining your user base.
Similarly, with internal systems like staff training portals or corporate knowledge bases, a poor UX will stifle adoption and usage of the technology. In turn, that will have a negative impact on your return on investment (ROI).
Using Bespoke Development to Overcome Business Challenges
In order to break down those barriers and overcome those challenges, many of the leading financial services companies have developed websites that are entirely bespoke.
Modern enterprise systems need to be dynamic, intuitive, and user-centric. Delivering on all those attributes often requires bespoke development, especially in an industry as nuanced and complex as financial services.
Your customers, partners, and clients must be able to interact with your services and access their data online, from anywhere, at any time. Not only that, but they also expect personalised content, tailored to their specific needs or challenges, at every stage of their user journey.
For that reason, it’s often necessary to take the route of a bespoke development project to ensure that your business gains exactly what it needs – and that your users get exactly what they want – in terms of both functionality and capability.
This covers all the possibilities and ensures your digital presence is tailored to your specific business objectives, the preferences of your users, and unique requirements, including:
Whatever it is your business requires, you can follow the simple, proven process outlined below to ensure your investment in new technology is a successful one.
How to Approach a Bespoke Development Project for a Financial Services Business
Understand the Purpose of What You’re Building
The first thing you need to do is reach a clear understanding of exactly what you’re trying to achieve with your website. Whatever you’re looking to build, it should align with, and support, your company’s strategic business objectives.
It should also meet a specific need or solve a specific challenge for the users it’s aimed at. This will help you begin to determine exactly what you need in terms of design, usability, and any other bespoke functionality.
Define Your Requirements in a Project Brief
A brief is a simple written document that lists all the key ideas and details you think are relevant to the website or platform you’re looking to build. Use this to list all your functional and non-functional requirements, as that will make the project as clear as possible for the design and development agencies you speak to.
Try to be as specific as possible to give yourself the best chance of having the project delivered on time, within your budget, and to your bespoke specifications. Without that specificity, you’ll likely be disappointed and could even end up drastically over-spending.
For a comprehensive guide to creating a brief that will set you up for a successful web design and development project, read our useful article here.
Evaluate Your Technology Options
In most cases, you’ll use a content management system (CMS) to build your bespoke site. This is a type of software-based platform that allows you to create, edit, and publish digital content across a range of online channels and devices.
Every bespoke development project will be different, so you should aim to select the CMS that best aligns with your objectives, requirements, budget, and other factors.
For example, WordPress is fast-becoming the platform of choice for many forward-thinking financial services businesses, because of the flexibility and fast time-to-market it offers.
To learn more about how to understand and evaluate the enterprise CMS options for bespoke development, read our helpful related article here.
Find and Select an Agency Partner
Building, managing, and maintaining a high-performance website in the current technology landscape can be very complex. It requires a wealth of expertise and experience, and also takes time. For that reason, the vast majority of businesses work with a web design and development agency to bring their vision to life.
The choice you make about which agency to partner with will have a significant influence on the success or failure of your project, so approach this decision with a great deal of care.
When you’re dealing with such a high volume of sensitive financial data, you must find an agency that understands and respects the critical nature of the work they’ll deliver for you.
You should consider the following qualities as non-negotiable for your an agency:
What Are the Key Components of a Successful Bespoke Development Project in the Financial Services Sector?
There are some key components of a web development project that you can specifically include in your requirements before you speak to any agencies. These will ensure you minimise your risks and mitigate potential problems, both during and after the delivery of the project.
You should use these as criteria when assessing your agencies and your technology platform, as they should all be non-negotiable for any business in the financial services sector.
Hosting and Performance
Hosting refers to the physical and virtual data centres used to house your website. It’s crucial to ensure your site will be hosted in a secure environment, with an experienced, trustworthy provider, because this will have a significant influence on things like security and performance. You’re likely expecting to deal with a high volume of data and a large audience of users, so it’s crucial to ensure your website or platform can handle that.
Security is not an after-thought, it’s a critical priority. From your choice of hosting services, to your data back-up and disaster recovery, right through to the frequent testing of your live site. Always place this at the very top of your list of questions when speaking to an agency or a technology provider about developing something bespoke.
Providing your users with personalised services and content is another crucial capability for modern financial services companies, but not all platforms can facilitate this.
In order to ensure your end-users are having their experiences tailored to each individual, some bespoke functionality could be necessary.
Scalability and Multi-Site Development
As business growth is likely one of your key strategic objectives, your site must be able to support that. A scalable platform will allow you to seamlessly expand your online presence as your business grows and your needs change.
Integration with Back-End Systems
Like most financial services companies, your corporate network probably includes a variety of old and new systems and applications across all your different departments. If you’re going to have something new developed, you’ll need to build it on a technology platform that can seamlessly integrate with all those relevant systems.
Whether or not a technology solution is a good investment or a bad one often depends on how easy it is to use, both for your team internally and your end-users. Usability is a key criteria
One of the great advantages of developing a bespoke site is that you can continue to iterate and improve it based on user feedback. However, you’ll want to ensure you’re able to do so quickly and efficiently.
Working with an agency, and a technology platform, that enables a fast time-to-market with your development projects is an important part of the process in terms of achieving positive ROI.
Ongoing Development and Optimisation
Following on from the previous point, your web development project shouldn’t stop at the delivery and deployment of your solution. Once your site is live, measure and analyse its adoption and usage. You can use that feedback to continue optimising its capabilities and functionality for the best possible results.
The Business Benefits of Bespoke Development
While technology does create its fair share of challenges for businesses that are unprepared or unwilling to adapt, it also presents a vast range of opportunities to those who embrace it.
A bespoke development project delivers something entirely unique and specific to your business, giving you a range of benefits and advantages, including:
Financial services has always been a highly competitive industry, but with recent technology trends and changing consumer behaviour, it’s now more important than ever to have a strong, user-centric digital presence.
Not only do your clients and partners demand their data be handled in a secure, compliant way, they also expect a seamless, consumer-grade performance from all digital processes and services they use. Unexpected down-time, poor UX, or any similar frustrations will leave your customers unsatisfied and may put their loyalty in question.
In order to avoid these challenges and minimise your risks, it’s important to find the right agency, with the right technology, to create a website tailored to meet your strategic objectives and exceed your clients’ expectations.
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8 June, 2021
SoBold is a Proud Clutch 100 Fastest-Growing Company for 2021
Clutch is a B2B review and rating platform that spans the IT, marketing, and business services industries. The site annually holds an awards cycle to celebrate the best and brightest service providers from the aforementioned sectors. SoBold are delighted to be one of the Clutch 100 fastest-growing companies for 2021!
“The Clutch 100 growth lists represent the top service providers based on revenue growth over the years,” said Clutch Founder Mike Beares. “Their recognition is only possible because of their willingness to participate and their commitment to delivering the best services to their clients.”
“We are delighted to be recognized as a Clutch Leader. This award highlights our consistent project success and growth as a business,” said SoBold Managing Director, Will Newland.
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9 November, 2023
Regulation of digital markets: Comparing UK and EU approaches
Digital markets have experienced significant growth and dominance by a few companies and their platforms, raising concerns about competition, consumer choice, and data access. To address these issues, both the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) have introduced regulatory reforms.
The EU has implemented the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the Digital Services Act (DSA), while the UK has proposed the Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumer Bill (DMCCB) and the Online Safety Bill.
We’ll look at the regulatory approaches taken by the EU and UK, highlighting similarities and differences in scope, applicability, the importance of consent and how to get started with compliance.
Data privacy regulations in the European Union
The Digital Markets Act applies to companies designated as “gatekeepers” by the European Commission. Gatekeepers are the owners and providers of what the Commission identified as core platform services (CPS), such as search engines, social networking services, video-sharing platforms, and cloud computing services.
Companies designated as gatekeepers must carry out self-assessments to determine that they have met and continue to meet both quantitative and qualitative criteria. The list of gatekeepers may grow or change over time based on these criteria.
The quantitative criteria include a minimum annual turnover of €7.5 billion in the EU and at least 45 million active monthly users on the relevant platform or service in the last three financial years. Qualitative criteria consider the impact, importance, and market position of the CPS provider.
The DMA’s requirements are similar in many respects to those of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but are broader in some ways, addressing additional access to and uses of end users’ personal data.
Data privacy regulations in the United Kingdom
The Data Protection Act 2018 (“DPA”) covers the general processing of personal data in the UK and came into force on 25 May 2018, just before the EU GDPR took effect.
Following the end of the Brexit Transition Period, the EU GDPR became part of UK law through the European Union Withdrawal Agreement, and the Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2019 (Exit Regulations).
The EU GDPR gave rise to the UK GDPR, which came into force on January 1, 2021, as the EU GDPR no longer protected UK citizens’ data. It includes the provisions of the EU GDPR with only minimal changes to the core principles, rights and obligations for data protection.
The UK GDPR and the DPA 2018 (amended version) are now the principal data protection regulations in the UK. They require businesses to protect individuals’ data, obtain consent to collect and use it, and protect data subjects’ rights.
The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) implemented the EU’s ePrivacy Directive (Directive 2002/58/EC) and sets out privacy rights relating to electronic communications. The PECR came into force in 2003 and .
The “British DMA”: Enter the Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumer Bill (DMCCB)
The DMCCB applies to digital commercial operations in the UK or affecting the UK market, which are deemed to have Strategic Market Status (SMS). The definition of a digital activity is broad and includes any service provided via the internet.
To qualify as an SMS, a firm must meet criteria such as conducting a digital activity linked to the UK, having substantial market power, and holding a position of strategic significance. Turnover thresholds of £25 billion global turnover and/or £1 billion UK turnover are also considered.
Obligations and requirements
European Union: Digital Markets Act
The DMA imposes various behavioral obligations on gatekeepers. These include allowing third-party interoperability, granting access to user-generated data, promoting fair competition, and prohibiting preferential treatment of the gatekeeper’s services.
Gatekeepers must appoint compliance officers and submit annual compliance reports to the Commission.
Additionally, gatekeepers are required to inform the Commission about mergers (any “intended concentration” irrespective of whether they’re notifiable under the EU Merger Regulation or national merger rules. (DMA Art. 14.).
United Kingdom: Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill
Strategic Market Status (SMS) firms in the UK will be subject to strict behavioral obligations under the DMCCB. These obligations revolve around fair trading, open choices, trust, and transparency.
The specific requirements will be tailored by the Digital Markets Unit (DMU) and the Office of Communications (Ofcom), the regulatory bodies overseeing the DMCCB and the Online Safety Bill, respectively.
SMS firms must also report proposed acquisitions meeting certain thresholds to the DMU.
EU vs. UK processes
European Union: (Digital Markets Act)
The EU’s legislative-driven model designates gatekeepers based on size and imposes behavioral expectations through regulation. The European Commission develops and enforces these requirements for compliance from gatekeepers.
United Kingdom: Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill (DMCCB)
The UK’s approach involves more regulatory discretion. The DMU and Ofcom determine if a company has Strategic Market Status and tailor specific remedies accordingly. This approach allows for a more flexible and tailored oversight of digital platforms.
In the UK, both the DMU and Ofcom adopt a participatory regulation approach. This means regulators work closely with target companies to develop behavioral expectations and codes that can be enforced. The companies conduct their own Duty of Care analysis, which is reviewed by regulators that provide guidance and work collaboratively to define behavioral codes.
This means that beyond what’s defined by the two regulations, gatekeepers and SMS are required to determine their own privacy requirements to apply to third-party businesses using their services.
The importance of consent management for EU, EEA and UK companies
While both the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) and the United Kingdom’s Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill (DMCCB) emphasize the significance of obtaining user consent for data processing activities, there may be variations in specific requirements and implementation.
To address these differences and get ready for data privacy compliance, follow these steps:
1. Understand the regulations
Familiarize yourself with the specific consent requirements outlined in both the DMA and DMCCB. Identify any variations in terms of lawful bases for processing, explicit consent, and additional obligations.
2. Assess your website or online platform’s data processing
Assess your organization’s data processing practices and identify any areas of noncompliance. Scan your website and check its degree of GDPR compliance.
3. Implement a leading European consent solution
Choose a consent management platform that enables GDPR and ePrivacy-compliant user consent collection and signaling for DMA compliance. Ensure that the CMP provides features such as granular consent options, secure recordkeeping, and user-friendly interfaces.
4. Customize consent banners
Tailor the consent banners displayed on your website or online platform to meet the specific requirements of each regulation. Provide clear information about data processing activities, purpose specification, and the ability to manage preferences.
6. Train your team
Educate your staff about the nuances of both regulations and the proper implementation of consent management. Ensure they understand their roles and responsibilities in obtaining and managing user consent.
The UK and EU regulatory initiatives are creating de facto global digital risk management standards, by taking significant steps to regulate digital markets and addressing concerns related to market dominance, competition, consumer choice, and data access.
While the EU has implemented the DMA and DSA, the UK is in the process of enacting the DMCCB and the Online Safety Bill. The approaches differ in some aspects, but there’s a shared goal of promoting fair competition and protecting consumer interests.
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Latest from agency
3 August, 2022
Celebrating 3 years with Leonardo Esposito
A fresh-faced Leo joined SoBold in August 2019, with a big booming smile and speaking in broken English. It was immediately clear how driven he was to learn and pick up new skills and it was a no-brainer to offer him a job to join our development team.
For much of his first year at SoBold, Leo was glued to Google Translate to try and properly understand the tasks he had been set, but each and every time the output of his work would be the same, outstanding.
As Leo’s English picked up, as did his confidence and skill-set and he made it clear that he wanted to focus on Back-End Development and he really wanted to take SoBold forward. Leo championed innovation in our development approach and much of the workflow we do today has been driven by Leo’s desire to set the highest of standards.
He is a key figure at SoBold and we are very fortunate to have him.
We caught up with Leo to find out more about what he get’s up to in his day-to-day life!
At what point in your life did you decide to become a developer?
During middle school, I tried to learn how to make games, which led me to development. I started exploring different languages and realized I really liked learning the syntax of as many languages as I could. Eventually, I got into web development, and since then I have tried to expand my knowledge of web development languages, trying out new frameworks, and both front and back end sides.
Describe your typical day
As of now I’m trying out double gym days, which means an early wake up (5.30am), gym at 6am, and finishing at around 8am. Then I go to work, have my day, and when I finish I go home and back to the gym. When I get back home it’s circa 8.30pm, so I have dinner, watch something on Netflix (not too much otherwise I end up snacking), then go to my room, and if there’s time and I’m not too tired I play piano, otherwise I go to bed ready to do it all again.
What’s your favourite project to date
Favourite project to date is Rede partners
Any advice for junior developers?
Never stop learning, be curious, and be always ready to challenge yourself, and question what you do. Change your way of doing things if someone else out there is doing it better.
If you had to change careers what would you do instead?
Theoretical Physicist or Volleyball coach
What was your most recent challenge and how did you overcome It?
Hit a plateau in terms of motivation, but managed to overcome it by getting less on my plate, and focusing on meaning, eventually, it became better.
What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?
Workout, play music (piano, guitar), play video games (fav ones are Skyrim, Horizon Forbidden West and Fallout)
How do you think the designer/developer relationship could improve?
The main thing is communication and chemistry, once those are there the relationship improves by itself.
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18 April, 2023
Exploring the End-to-End Process of Web Design
In this article, we’ll outline the end-to-end steps of what takes place in a thorough user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) web design process and discuss what modern web design requires to be successful.
You may have read our in-depth guide to creating a brief for a web design and development project. A brief can be used to capture all your ideas and requirements before discussing your project with any web design and development agencies.
Once you’ve completed your brief, and evaluated your options for agency partners, you’ll be ready to launch into your website project.
An end-to-end website project is typically organised into phases, which will usually be structured as follows:
We’ve provided a detailed breakdown of these phases in a recent series of articles. This series is intended to give you a clear understanding of the full end-to-end process involved when working with an agency to design and develop a website. This will help you remove any apprehension heading into this kind of project and set you up for success.
The Current State of Web Design
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”Steve Jobs, Co-Founder and former CEO of Apple.
While web design does focus on the visual aspects of the site, there’s a lot more to it than just the aesthetic elements like colour schemes and typography.
Web design is a complex blend of branding, user experience (UX) design, user interface (UI) design, graphic design, content creation, layout and structure, accessibility, and much more.
The design of your website needs to be visually attractive but, more importantly, it also needs to be simple and easy-to-use. Your website needs to find the perfect balance between supporting your strategic objectives and serving your clients with a seamless experience. Of course, that’s much easier said than done, which is why it’s so important to find an experienced partner you can trust to guide you through the process.
Outlining the Web Design Process
Phase 1 – Research and Planning
The phase that underpins EVERYTHING!
A good agency will have absorbed everything in your project brief. They should also have worked hard to understand your perspective and your requirements from your website, before you’ve even agreed to work together.
Once you’re preparing to launch the project, the research and planning phase will then go beyond that initial information gathering exercise.
The objective of this phase is to define the full scope of the website, including its design, its features and functionality, its content, and everything else involved.
Your site will be discussed in extensive detail, and then research will be conducted into some key areas that will inform your design and development, such as:
Whether you’re making small updates to an existing design or completely rebranding your business, it’s equally important to use this research to inform every decision you make. That’s because every element of your site’s design must be made to support your business goals and serve your target audience with a great user experience (UX).
This research and planning phase is essential in enabling you and your agency partner to do that.
Phase 2 – Visual Exploration
This exploratory phase involves defining the most appropriate and effective visual direction to take with your site.
The main tool used to help determine the right visual identity for your website is a set of mood boards. These are a visual compilation of different options for colour, typography, structure, images, and other visual components that are used to tell your brand’s story through your website’s design.
A good agency partner will usually present around three mood boards to help shape the direction, then collaborate with you to narrow it down to one final version.
Visual exploration, like most processes within web design and development, will be collaborative and iterative. You’ll be presented with ideas by your agency partner, then given the chance to provide feedback across several rounds of revisions.
Phase 3 – User Experience (UX) Design
The UX design process is the phase in which you work with your agency’s UX specialist to create a blueprint of the website functionality.
This involves creating wireframes (either low-fidelity or high fidelity) that help you visualise the design and outline your website visitors’ flow through the pages into your main calls-to-action. This is the way the website’s design works strategically to drive outcomes that align with your business goals.
This phase takes place before working on the site’s visual design to ensure the two separate aspects complement each other.
Phase 4 – User Interface (UI) Design
From there, your user interface (UI) will be designed. The styles, fonts, and look and feel of the site from the mood boards will be applied to the wireframes.
Your agency will likely present you with a design for your homepage before moving on to the rest of the site. This will typically be done on a desktop screen size, but it can be done on mobile if you want to take a mobile-first approach. Once this is complete, it will then be designed across the relevant breakpoints.
After completing this process, your agency partner will be ready to enter into developing your website.
Making Complex Processes Simple
As technology continues to become more advanced, more and more of our daily lives now take place in a digital-first context. This means:
In order to succeed, your website’s design requires careful planning, research, and a strategic approach if it hopes to meet the demands of the modern client.
Working with a specialist design and development agency is a proven approach to ensuring you gain a website that meets your requirements and delivers on the expectations of your target audience.
Completing a process like the one outlined in this article will enable you to design a website that can become your clients’ go-to online source when they have a need.
As mentioned earlier, we’ve provided a step-by-step guide to each of these phases to make the process even easier for you.