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Effective, Functional Website Designs Go With Goals

The environment was quite calm, sane and devoid of any form of hustle, bustle and “busyness” of any sort. It was the type that was quite recommendable for the creative mind. Getting into CKDIGITAL’s office in Shipeolu Street, Palmgroove, Lagos Southwest effective-website-designNigeria was a real great experience. The team was made of young chaps all around working on project as one great team with a common goal. I kept looking around to see if I could find female folks but none (inquisitive me abi?) Where are the ladies at? I asked in my mind sha.

Stepping in and requesting to see the CEO of CK Digital, I was ushered to have my seat while the guy that attended to me went in to inform him. I was asked to wait a little while before being ushered into the CEO’s office.

Meet Charles Dairo
He was so soft-spoken, calm, collected, homely, welcoming. I stretched my hand for a handshake and with a warm smile, he held my hand in firm welcome. We kick started the interview. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome Charles Dairo, CEO, CKDIGITAL.NET, Nigeria’s Premier Website Design Company.

For sake of this blog post, I will only handle this particular area that is specific to our title. So I’ll typically focus on what he had to say about goals and effective web designs.
Designers Ought to Work with the goals, objectives of the client in mind. According to Charles, he said design must be able to fulfill the goals and objectives of the customer (this was actually their approach to design). And this must begin with getting the brief right from the client. He pointed that you must be able to know what the client is out to achieve ad ensure your design is in line with that objective. When asked about his approach and workflow to web design, this is what he had to say: ”It is what we call objective base. We try to understand the objective of that business. We don’t just want to do a website because it is beautiful, fine or visually appealing. It needs to meet a particular objective.”

Clients Must Know What They Want For Their Website
On a lighter mood, he said some clients don’t really know what they want but know what they don’t want. Sometimes it could be challenging to get into the mind of the client and really understand what they are out to achieve with their website. On some other occasions, we might have to go back and forth to really understand what the customer really wants. This really takes time and throughout the process we keep communication open.

Success is measured when goals and objectives are met
A web design company’s success is not measured when the project is completed and the client says “WOW, I have a website.” It is completed when the website achieves the customer’s goals, objectives and intents it was originally meant for.
Yes design, in terms of the look and feel of the website is important but more important is the fact that the goal the client intended is met. “If the person is trying to get people to click on a button, we make sure we design something around that button. If the person wants you to buy, we’ll make sure it’s easy to buy on that website” Charles said sharing more light on focusing on client’s objectives.

From the client’s end, define your goals for needing a website
It’s clearly important to spell out things from start. Everybody involved in the project’s process must have their roles defined. The client from his own end must spell out in clear, simple terms what he wants with his website. He must do his homework well in ensuring the web design company understands his or her brief. The brief should be clear and concise so that anyone picking it up will know how to run with it without any form of ambiguity. It is a very important document for the web design company because they keep making reference to it throughout the project’s process.

Client Provides Content:
Let’s clearly define roles abeg! It is the client’s responsibility to provide content for their website. Content in terms of literature, photographs, videos, audios etc where required should be provided by the customer not the web design company.

I’ve had some bad experiences where I’ve had to struggle to get content for the client because he wanted the job “sharp-sharp.” It was quite difficult for me because it wasn’t my field entirely. What would a web designer be doing looking for content for an engineering company? I felt so frustrated because taking some other person’s content for an industry I don’t know anything about is just about the worst thing you could do to anybody.

It wasn’t my responsibility to look for content for the customer and professionally, I won’t ever make that mistake again. My responsibility was to understand the client’s brief and design the content provided by the customer to meet the objective as clearly defined in the brief –this should be my focus.

My client kept bringing in materials that got me more confused: “You see, you have to add this, scan that; find where to put this; this photograph must just be used even if it’s a newspaper cut out; that’s about the best I have please find where to use it for me.” At a time, it looked like our focus had gone off the objective to loading the website with so much content that would leave the user, visitor, prospect, client overwhelmed.

From both parties, the client and the web designer or web design company, the reminder should still be bold in ensuring that simplicity is key –both in content provision and design.
If the client keeps loading the website with overwhelming content just to drive home his point or overemphasize his objective, that could get a bit scary and may eventually do more harm than good intended.

Now For The Web Designer
From the designers end, it is his responsibility to incorporate customer’s goals and objectives in the design and also to keep it simply simple (KISS). From the kind of concept you want to use for the client to the design, you must ensure that your focus is ensuring that the objective of the customer is met.

According to Charles, “If the aim is to make people click on a button, we make sure we design something around that button; if the person wants you to buy, we’ll make sure it’s easy to buy on that website.”

If you want people to sign up for something, make sure your sign up form is attractive enough to inspire someone to be willing to input their details on it.

Strike the Balance:
As a designer you play an important role in quality design, effectiveness & functionality of the client’s website. Quality speaks louder than any kind of words you can ever imagine. So in designing great websites, remember that it must be effective, functional and pleasing to use.

So what others ways can you make your website more effective and functional?

2 thoughts on “Effective, Functional Website Designs Go With Goals

  1. Hi Syl,

    Thanks for featuring me and the CKDIGITAL team in your post. The interview was a good experience – an opportunity to share information with the web design and development industry.


    Charles Dairo

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