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Website Design and Website Development Playbook

A business’s online presence can have an outsized influence on its success. Even outside of eCommerce and D2C sectors, the vast majority of a company’s investors, partners, and customers, whether B2C or B2B, will visit their website before making a decision to purchase or invest. 

Creating a visible online footprint for your business, starting with a solid website, builds a strong foundation for revenue generation.

Communication channels are the base of your overall strategy
Communication channels - including your website - are how you're able to present your business.

What Advantages Does the Website Give to Your Business?

A website is the digital landing site for your community - the key awareness platform for new and existing customers, partners, investors, and other stakeholders.  A well-designed and user-friendly website demonstrates expertise and permanence, and through that establishes trust between the company and its audience.

It is the most important tool for a business that gives your brand presence in your category if it can provide users with a first-class experience. Needless to say, it is critical to approach this process thoughtfully. While certain small, or early-stage businesses can start by building their website and online presence on their own, most companies should opt in for working with a professional agency in order to build a website that will serve them as a strong platform and content engine for years as they scale and grow.

What is the key purpose of the website?
Remember to keep in mind the purpose of your website when designing wireframes and drafting content.

Sitemap and Wireframes

Start with a deep dive into your goals for the site, what you expect it to achieve, and how you can leverage it as the primary tool to connect with your audience, build a following, reinforce your brand identity, and facilitate revenue. 

To build a strong foundation for your website, start by identifying how it factors into your business goals, as well as your customers’ expectations and behavior. Establish context, and benchmark how your site should function against key competitors and industry standards.

Once the website brief is created, the next step is to sketch the sitemap and new web layouts through wireframe development. These allow experimentation through quick iterations so there is a clear and agreed sense of content placement.

Some of the best solutions to map out your site and sketch the wireframes that we use ourselves include Miro and Figma.

An example of website sitemaps and wireframes
Here's an example of how a wireframe may appear on different devices and screens.

Website Copywriting and SEO tools

Once the wireframes are signed off, they should be populated with content, aka web copy.  Well-crafted website copywriting defines effective user flow, keeps them engaged, and often leads users to take desired action, such as making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, or submitting a contact form.

Great copy rooted in your brand identity can give your users the extra push they need to engage with your business. However, the main goal of writing for the web is not user flow and CTAs alone - successful and effective web copy is a balancing act between an engaging on-site narrative and SEO. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has had an immense impact on how we write online, and what we hope to achieve with it. As Google and other search engines grow in utilization, so does the need for traffic through these engines.

Running an SEO audit of your existing site or taking into account best SEO practices while creating a new one will ensure that your website is engaging. It helps you connect with the motivations of those who found it but also makes it easy to find and searchable for those who haven’t heard of your brand before but are looking for products and services similar to your business.

SEO tools such as SE Ranking, Semrush, or Moz make SEO auditing accessible and straightforward even for non-technical users.

Website Design

Once the wireframes are approved and the final content is supplied, the screen design begins. These add color and more detail to the initial wireframes, giving a stronger visual representation of the final product. It is important to prepare mockups that show how the final design will look on desktop, tablet, and smartphone screen sizes.

Examples of website design
These are a few examples of the websites Wunderdogs has designed over the years for clients in various industries.


There are a few important design characteristics that all successful user-first websites share:

  • Simple: When users come to a business website, they do so to find specific information or complete an action. Excessive design elements, animations, and copy overload distract users from the ultimate action you want them to take.

  • Navigable and Hierarchical: Even the most information-heavy websites can provide a pleasant and clear user flow if the information hierarchy is clean; meaning, layouts and design elements drive attention toward the most important information first. The most efficient websites have the least amount of clicks the user needs to make to get the information they want.

  • Accessible: A website is a digital public space - it is crucial to make sure that it is accessible to all users, including people with limitations that affect their browsing experience. A tool like AccessiBe helps identify flaws in your website’s accessibility and provides tools to meet the accessibility standards.

  • Credible and consistent: A website exists to ensure that your brand is represented in a consistent, trustworthy, and credible way to your customers and end users. Therefore, ensuring informational and visual consistency throughout the website, as well as making sure that the site is consistent with your brand, marketing, and sales materials is crucial.

Conclusion

As a communication tool that allows you to convey the most information in one place vs. other channels, your website presents an opportunity to communicate every aspect of your business and brand, creating a starting point for connection with your audience.

Efficient user-friendly websites are a prerequisite for any brand. Where websites really deliver is when the time and thought to develop one that accurately reflects your brand, product, and customer combines with design thinking to create something that is not only a tool but an experience that brings your audience in and keeps them there.

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