Summer is now in full swing and it seems like the perfect time to review my current website and decide how the 2009 revision should be reworked. Last years redesign was fairly basic with regards to layout and colour changes, but for this years revision I plan on starting from scratch. The development will be treated like a Client-based project and will include research, wire framing and design prototyping, standards compliant HTML and CSS coding, custom programming, implementing WordPress as my blogging platform, and applying some serious search engine optimization to help boost my placement on Bing’s, Google’s and Yahoo’s search index.
Research will consist of reviewing what is trendy in the web design industry today, what designs are effective and user friendly, the pitfalls of certain Web 2.0 features, and a peek at what the internet may look like in the next twelve to thirty six months.
Moving onto the design part of the development, wire frames and design prototyping will play a big part in creating an effective user interface. Wire framing consists of sketching out the most basic design of the website layout. Pencil and paper are the best tools to use and allow you to draw out the website using boxes and captions. Nothing beats being able to scribble and erase during the planning phase of developing a new or revising an existing website. After the design has been wire framed and the basic layout has been realized, the next step is to jump into Adobe Photoshop (my preferred design prototyping tool). Design prototyping takes the basic wire frame and applies colours, shapes, and typography to produce a near-final design (fine-tuning is always needed) that can then be sliced and recreated using HTML and CSS.
Once the design is finalized and prepped for coding, the real fun begins, HTML and CSS provide a powerful framework that allows the web designer / developer to take their design prototype and re-imagine it as a working user interface. The website is coded with strict adherence to web standards. This means that certain guidelines are followed to make sure the website is available and easily viewed by all audiences. Following web standards also ensures that any website that is built by iMAGINE MEDIA DESIGNS will be easily viewed in all current and future web browsers.
Custom programming will provide the much valued functionality to the website. This will include a contact form that validates each input field, prevents the website from being spammed, and formats the user submitted information in a nice, presentable fashion. Nobody likes to have lines and lines of text to look through for the important information submitted by their website visitors.
WordPress, the number one open source blogging platform will be implemented to provide the perfect vehicle to deliver regular updates to the website. My previous blogging choice was clunky and not powered by a database (on-line content storage) which made creating new entries difficult and editing old entries even more difficult.
Finally, one of the most asked questions Client’s ask is: search engine optimization and how do I get ranked high on Google? With this year’s revision I will use the skills and techniques that I have been practicing over the last twelve months to help get www.imaginemediadesigns.com ranked very well in more general categories and search keywords on all of the major search engines. Everybody likes to focus just on Google, which does hold a large portion of the market, but I make sure all of the websites that are designed and developed at iMAGINE MEDIA DESIGNS are easily found using Bing, Google, and Yahoo. Broad exposure ensures high visibility to many potential customer’s on the internet.
Well that about wraps up this very long blog entry, but it is nice to keep general users’ and returning Client’s informed about all of the happenings at iMAGINE MEDIA DESIGNS. Check back in the coming weeks to see the new website and possibly some other branding changes.