How design, the tasty center of the cookie, does its part

This post, the third in our series on the Oreo Cookie Strategy for profitable website projects, will discuss how design contributes to profitable website builds. It won’t discuss UX design or the latest trend in visual design. There are lots of resources for that. And I’m not qualified. We will discuss how small changes to the design work process will result in more profitable website builds. How thoughtful design choices will make the subsequent build more efficient.

If you just found this, you can review the first two posts here:

Part 1: How to Make Money on Website Projects

Part 2: Planning Profitable Website Projects

Use and Review the Wireframes

Wireframes start profitable website buildsThis may seem obvious but it’s a step that’s often missed. Take the time to review, in detail, what’s in the wires. Understand the “what” that they represent. Design needs to focus on how to present the required functionality and content. If it doesn’t there will likely be budget implications. Review the wires with a developer. They will help the designer understand what it will take to deliver the functionality, and they will make it clear what’s easy (inexpensive), and what’s difficult (expensive).

Provide a design for all the pages

Don’t forget the little things. Provide a complete set of designs. Time wasted going back and forth asking for things is money lost. Back and forth doesn’t lead to profitable website builds. If there is a light box, provide a design for that. If there is a login, provide a design for this too. The 404 page, the search results page, and secondary pages like Legal and Privacy Policy all need designs. Consider the footer. It deserves design love too.

Include the developers

profitable website builds - design's contributionInclude the developers in the design process early and often. This is especially important before selling a design to the client. Things that look cool on paper may not be cool across devices, or may be difficult to build. (Whenever we use the word difficult, especially related to development, insert expensive.) A developer can suggest simple design tweaks that will make the build easier. (And whenever we use the word easy, insert inexpensive.)

Provide Mobile Designs

Mobile is important, more for some businesses than others, but it is important. Don’t assume that this will get taken care of in development. Provide the design. Understand how a responsive site works. If you don’t understand it, ask a developer to explain it to you. Consider the mobile user experience. If you expect interaction, design for it. Give users the space they need to work with the page on a mobile device. Understand the difference between responsive and adaptive design. Don’t use the words interchangeably. They aren’t the same. Consider the functionality that will be useful to mobile users. The mobile experience doesn’t have to be the same as the desktop.

Mobile Navigation

Understand how mobile navigation works. Follow accepted practices. Some things that are common in desktop design, overlays for example, are not possible on all mobile devices. Represent this in the design. If you don’t, there will be a lot of expensive back and forth, and what you want to do still won’t be possible. Consider the site architecture, what are mobile users likely to access. As with functionality, the navigation doesn’t have to be the same for the mobile experience.

Big Finish – how design contributes to profitable website builds

If the designers keep these few things in mind there will be less back and forth. The developers will be able to execute efficiently, there won’t be a lot of rework. Basically, if design recognizes that their part is just that, a part of the whole project, you are much more likely to have profitable website builds.

Stop losing money on website projects

Just stop. Contact us and let us help you with your next website project.