Small Busniess website

This article discusses, my design thought process and the steps, taken in creating my client’s website that enables them to reach potential customers, and provide a smooth interactive user experience explaining what the website is about.

I was task to create a site for Jeffrey he is an owner of a bike shop in Greenwich, however he feels he is not able to reach many customers by simply having a shop, so we I have decided to work with him, to create a website that will help promote his shop online.

So how do I get started?

Well first I needed to sit down with Jeffrey and understand him and the product that he is selling and the story behind it. This gives me an idea of what Jeffrey and his store is about and allows me to then gather a basic understanding of what his and his store stands for.

Techniques:

I started the discovery by interviewing Jeffrey we spoke about he’s business and customers, and from that it enabled me to create questionnaires I will use on existing and new customer.  This will now help me understand the pain points of the business, I will also carry out a in-depth analysis and look at successful competitors websites to draw on successful themes.

Questionnaires – provide as with a way to capture information as well as steer the conversation or topic, the way we want, via using open or closed questions. Here you can see some of the questionnaires and questions I created LINK

User research – after having the discussions and completing questionnaires, the foundations have been set for me to do some user research, this includes looking at competitor’s sites and seeing how they present there information to customers, here are some competitors LINK

User personas – Its is important to understand the users of the service so I create several user personas with the aim of understanding the customer and who and what they are here is a LINK to the personas.

journey mapping – Once we figure our customers, we can the start the process of mapping the journey, how they will navigate, how we can make the site more intuitive and more importantly accessible here is a LINK to my journey mapping.

Card Sorting – A great technique to use with journey mapping, to create and layout the site map and how the site will be presented to the user making things easier to access here is a link of my card sorting LINK

Wireframing – Initial ideas do not have to be polished what is more important is getting down and having a rough idea of how we want the site to look, if done right we can normally use this as the initial draft and walk through the features with the customer in my case Jeffrey of my initial thoughts on the design here is my wireframing In its initial stag LINK

Once we established an initial design that the customer is happy with, we move on to start refining the design using tools and applications.

With Jeffrey this was very easy, he understood the process and would provide constant feedback on things he liked or did not, so it was important to get the work digitised and online to share.

So, what Tools to use?

Well, you don’t have to use everything I have used, but for me it is important to be reachable and accessible to my customers so Figma, google and connectivity is very important.

Figma – Figma is a great design application allowing me to turn my wireframes into digital designs I can then share those designs with Jeffrey who is able to provide comments on things they like and things they do not like.  After collecting all the information and having the foundation in place, having the visual identity for the website and also completed using the low-fidelity prototype I created a high-fidelity mock-up that incorporate the brand’s colour schemes, typography, and imagery. I align the design to be aimed to resonate with the target audience, creating a visually appealing and cohesive online presence.

Once we settle one a design the next steps are important, although have tried to incorporate them in the design, accessibility is very important in the UK we have the web accessibility and disability act 2010 where all websites are required to be at least AA rating which means accessible to all, although many websites fall this, the UK hardly enforces to date, however it is important that Jeffrey and his website is compliant so we incorporate this in the code and design and this takes us to our next step.

Testing – incorporates the usability the accessibility and the availability of the site, here I can user several different tests, AB testing, smoke screen testing, using w3c Validator to ensure the markup is accessible to machine readers and all the other requirements that are needed, which is essential for ensuring the website is inclusive to all, but just as important making sure if works and functions in the right way and that Jeffrey is happy with it.

Conclusion – It is so important to work with the user to create a service tailoured around them, by being user centric, we ensure what we are doing is fit for purpose, but also we get there buy-in during the process, making sure deliver a optimal site that is not only interactive and intuitive, it is attractive and appealing to users of different groups and

the site is more importantly relevant and is able to draw in new and existing customers, take a look at the finished product here LINK.