Web development and graphic design are irrevocably married to each other with a natural tension that balances the need for both beauty and functionality. They represent two distinct needs requiring two distinctly different skill-sets. Their success together depends upon user functions working hand-in-hand with appealing designs to create an end product that best serves both the business and the brand. Here are three quick tips to help you strengthen the relationship between web development and graphic design in the online user experiences for your organization: simplicity, consistency and versatility.
It may be an overused phrase, but it still holds true. The simpler, the better. People donít want to have to decipher what you mean, and they donít want to have to hunt for what should be easily accessible. They want to know what you have to offer and why itís better than joe schmo down the street. The goal is to establish a brand experience that is simple, functional and communicates your purpose to your customers consistently across digital and print media. Regardless of whether you are just starting out, or fine-tuning, reflect on your own shopping habits and identify your pain points. Take a look at your competitors. What do they do better than you? Where do you excel? Be honest with yourself and identify areas of improvement and continue to evolve.
Companies that lack consistency in their branding subconsciously instill a notion of doubt. Even something as simple as different logos or slightly different tag lines sow an element of distrust. Conversely, companies that make consistent use of their branding not only reinforce their reputation with existing customers but also attract new customers. With consistency, you are communicating that you care enough to do the work. Review logos, content and other graphics belonging to your visual library. Do they communicate a consistent message?
We all know how fast technology changes. New platforms, social media, and thousands more online services seem to come out on a daily basis. By remaining flexible in design and agile in the tools you use to communicate your brand identity, it is far easier to accommodate other business needs as they arise. The simpler and more consistent youíve made your brand, the more versatile and scalable it will naturally be. Is your brand or business identity as versatile is it could be? Identify areas that could be simplified, and versatility can be improved. Begin with the simplest fixes and work your way up. Small wins can pay off in a big way.
When web development and graphic design work together seamlessly, the relationship is technically nimble and visually attractive while delivering a branding package that effectively serves your business and its customers. Like any relationship, doing the work, staying the course, and consistently evaluating opportunities to improve can yield great results.Do you find yourself at a crossroads? Does your web development and graphic design seem to have reached a relational disconnect? Have courage. Take a step back and retool...like any good marriage, the effort is worth it.
Mike and Jen Childress are a husband and wife team and owners ofChildressMedia, a small web development and graphic design firm located in Spokane, Washington.