The quality of a website’s design can massively impact its ability to attract and convert users, which is why leading brands invest so much time and effort into developing compelling pages that are easy to navigate. And while smart design is an essential component of any successful website, it’s just one piece of a larger puzzle. Even the most beautiful site is doomed to fail if it doesn’t run properly. That’s where a team of talented web developers comes in handy. Through a combination of web design and web development services, you can bring peerless functionality to your website, fostering an outstanding UX that boosts your bottom line.
At Snap, we take pride in bringing clarity (and fun) to the world of digital marketing. We also understand how challenging it can be to understand exactly which services you’ll need to build a website that’s beautiful, persuasive and fully functional. So today, we’ll be taking a look at the differences between web design and web development—and how our five-step approach to web builds can position your new site for continuous success.
Web Development vs. Web Design
There’s no shortage of confusion surrounding the relationship between web design and web development. And while the two are closely connected, there are a few important distinctions you need to be aware of. Here’s a brief summary of each to bring you up to speed.
Web Design encompasses the aesthetic and user experience a site offers. During this phase of site creation, our Creative Team collaborates with clients to develop unique fonts, color profiles, page layouts, graphics and creative copy that will resonate with site users and drive them further down the conversion funnel.
Web Development is the process of making a website fast, functional and error-free. In this phase of site creation, our seasoned developers take the designs from our Creative Team and bring them to life, bringing cross-platform functionality and responsive design integration to each site we create. As a leading web development company, we also offer ongoing site support, including coding updates.
Web development and design have an interdependent relationship; you can’t have one without the other. That’s why it’s imperative to invest in a digital marketing partner that excels with both. After all, gorgeous designs are pointless if they aren’t developed correctly, and sites with subpar designs aren’t worth the time or money they’d take to develop.
Looking for an example of how digital marketing masters handle web builds? Then look no further. Here’s a rundown of how Snap designs and develops beautiful websites that deliver maximum ROI for clients.
At the beginning of every web build, our team does its homework. During the Discovery Phase, Snap will connect with your leadership, marketing team, IT staff and other stakeholders to pin down exactly which goals you’re looking to meet with your new site. Our departments also perform a comprehensive audit of your current site (if you have one) to assess its usability and visibility on search engines to ensure that we keep what’s working and refine what isn’t. By the end of this process, we’ll hand over a detailed discovery document that’s packed to the brim with recommendations and strategic opportunities for your brand.
After we’ve locked down your objectives and constraints, our team will start to map out the infrastructure of your website. Snap’s information architecture experts will examine the aesthetic and technical components of your site to find the best functionality for your users. We’ve perfected the art of organizing and labeling websites to support findability and usability. Our Information Architecture Team also accounts for UX and UI best practices, ensuring that your upcoming designs will provide maximum conversion impact.
In this phase, we combine the strategic opportunities we uncovered in Discovery with the functionality guidelines laid out in the last step to create an interactive website. Snap’s Design Team will work with you to develop detailed user personas that represent your ideal customers. From there, we’ll use customer journey mapping to set a hierarchy for your website, culminating in the creation of a sitemap that details the relationships between each page. Using this map as a blueprint, our creatives will set to work on creating a responsive, human-centered design that meets and exceeds user expectations. This is also the stage where our SEO Team will identify and capitalize on opportunities for linking, category tags, long-tail keywords and other leading-edge SEO tactics.
Now that we’ve parsed out exactly how your new site will look and feel, it’s time to bring it to life. Using a functionality doc created by the Web Design Team, Snap’s developers will implement every functionality your website requires. This is also the phase where we’ll start on technical SEO and improving your site speed. Page load times have a massive effect on conversions, meaning that even a few seconds of delay could cost you hundreds or thousands of sales opportunities. Luckily, our ace developers have the tools and experience to optimize your site’s speed, boosting conversion rates in the process.
In this phase, Snap will perform extensive quality assurance (QA) across your site to assess and perfect its performance. Not only will we test your website in multiple browsers and review documented functionalities, but we’ll also scour each page for bugs and errors that negatively affect your UX. Most importantly, we have your team and ours sign off on the finished site to make sure all of your needs and expectations are met. Once both parties are fully satisfied, we launch your new site into the world!
Optimize Your Website With Snap
Whether you’re looking to refine your current website or build a new one, Snap’s award-winning team is prepped and ready to help. We offer everything from SEO and web design services to branding and Magento web development. No matter what challenges your business faces—or how ambitious your goals are—our digital marketing gurus have you covered. Be sure to call or message us if you’d like a hand with your next website build. And shoot us a message if you want more information on Minneapolis web development or marketing services in general. We’d love to hear from you.