Great websites connect people to information, products, services and other people effortlessly - plus, without the limitation of physical space! Creating a seamless and enjoyable experience online takes a lot of work, passion and a combination of a wide variety of highly sought after talents. We at Crucial Web are dedicated to consistently delivering elegant web design to our clients, backed up by a powerful combination of artistry, engineering, business analysis, creative writing, multimedia skills and psychological insights. We know that only by incorporating the full spectrum of these elements can a digital experience be created that makes the most of  our clients' projects.

What is web design?

First, some definitions:

The term ‘web’ refers to the world wide web, which is an umbrella term that describes the huge array of technologies that work together to create the internet and the many services and websites that it now comprises. In simple terms, the internet (web) is a large network of computers that communicate together at high speed to allow us to share information, teach, entertain, trade with and exchange services with each other.

To simply use services on the internet is relatively easy, but actually creating a service often requires a complex process and a great deal of time. In simple terms, creating a website means transforming our imagination into plans and then into computer code, text and various forms of artistry which web browsers can finally then turn into a great experience via a web browser. All of this requires a significant amount of preparation and design work to ensure great results.
Sourcecode used in Web Development
The obvious part of web design involves deciding which pages will appear on a website, how they will look and what they will contain. Less obvious, however, is that there are a huge number of other details involved in designing even a single web page that are needed to make sure that the page or site can meet the wide variety of demands that different people and situations will place on it.

Some examples of areas that modern web designers need to consider include:
Crucial Information

How will the site render on different screen sizes, browsers and types of device?

Crucial Information

Which type of language will the site’s audience respond best to?

Crucial Information

How does the site convey the ethic of the organisation or entity that it represents?

Crucial Information

How will the site accommodate those with sight or hearing impairment?

Crucial Information

How will search engines react to the site when they index it and rank it in their search results?

Crucial Information

What happens when the site is used in ways that are unintended?

Crucial Information

How will any security or privacy risks be handled?

Crucial Information

What level and type of interactivity will the site offer?

Crucial Information

How will the site handle financial transactions, memberships or other similar features?

Crucial Information

Which other systems, services and websites will be connected and how will information be shared between them?

Crucial Information

Which legislation applies to the site from each geographical location that the site will be serving? How will the site's deisgn and content need to conform to it?

Crucial Information

How will the site’s visitors communicate with the site’s operators?

Understandably, modern web design is about much more than just graphic design tasks and as such, web design and development has now expanded into a variety of specialised roles. It is not uncommon for larger web projects to involve input from separate specialists in User Interface Design (UI), User Experience Design (UX), Graphic Design & Branding, Social Psychology, Conversion Rate Optimisation, Search Engine Optimisation, Web Programming (HTML, CSS, Javascript and other languages), Web app design, Website speed optimisation, eCommerce solutions and web security – to name but a few!

Typically, a design process will start with a marketing strategy and then proceed through research and analysis stages, before then moving on to specific design tasks that lead to finished web pages, apps and other deliverables. Once a site is launched and in use by it’s target audience there will usually be a continual process of maintenance and upgrades performed in order to further optimise it’s performance and also to keep it functional and relevant as both markets and the internet continually evolve.

Do I need a web design agency?

It is certainly possible to create a website on your own if you have the passion, skills, focus and dedication. There are many great resources online from which to learn how to create your own website. To start from scratch, though, will typically mean a process of months or years just to become familiar and proficient with the technology involved. There are online services like Wix.com and others which aim to make the process of website creation simple, but these come with important downsides and limitations. One of the main issues with this approach is that you will not have free reign to access, edit and reuse the underlying code and database or remove them from the host company’s computer (web server). This makes these solutions of limited use to serious projects and limits the functionality that they can support.

The larger and more complex a website becomes, the more energy will need to be invested into it in order to get great results in a reasonable amount of time. Creating your own site can be exciting and rewarding but often the complexities involved can mean that the work takes much longer than expected and the original drive and intentions get lost in a sea of technicalities and unexpected tasks.

Another option is to hire freelancers to carry out specific tasks and to then try to manage the 'team' directly. This approach can also work in some cases, however, it still requires significant technical, design and management ability to pull off successfully.

In the majority of cases, it makes the most sense to hire a suitable agency to handle the entire process of research, analysis, design and development – since this is what they specialise in and are prepared to do in a reasonable time. It is important that you are able to communicate well with any agency that you hire and that they listen to your needs and feedback – no-one wants to end up with a product that doesn’t meet their requirements and that then needs to be rebuilt later on. Always make sure that you will have access to the full source code for the finished product and that it is produced to a professional standard that will allow other teams to work on it should you need to move to a different agency or development team later on.

CRUCIAL Website Design

We have been using the web since it’s very early days and have seen the evolution of web design theory grow from amateur simplicity through to the multi dimensional and professional process it is today. We have experience of building both simple and complex sites, using various approaches and languages - so we are absolutely experienced enough to handle most web projects.

We can create totally bespoke systems using common web development languages, or use CMS and blogging platforms such as Wordpress to speed up the process. We love using Webflow for suitable sites too!

We can be flexible in most areas and are happy to work with your own design or marketing team if that is preferred, though we will not compromise when it comes to the fundamentals that we know are required to produce a great end result.

For best results we generally suggest starting out with a consultation process in order to create a requirements specification document and perhaps a digital marketing strategy which can then form the basis of any future design and development work (whether performed by us or a different team). The preparatory aspects cannot be skipped without negatively impacting the overall quality of the end result. We are, of course, perfectly happy to work with any competent strategy, branding and design documents you have already had prepared elsewhere. Branding and style guides that may be needed for inclusion into the website design process can also be created early on.

Once we establish the requirements and aims of the intended website, our team will work to produce a structural overview of the website and some simple mockups for page layouts to ensure we are all on the same page (pun intended). Once we have agreement among all the relevant stakeholders that the vision and functional requirements we have documented are suitable, we will complete the wireframe designs for each page and our graphics team will produce options for the visual styling of the site.

Only once these essential early design stages are finished and the results are agreeable to all concerned will our development team start coding any web pages or other deliverables such as mobile apps or desktop applications. Typically, smaller websites take between 4 and 8 weeks to develop to an initial version and will then be adjusted afterwards for a period in order to correct any flaws and add in any extra requirements that emerge. Larger projects will understandably take more time to complete and the nature of the technology involved means that accurate timing predictions are challenging to make – however, we do find that we tend to complete projects in a more timely fashion than many of our competitors.

We suggest that our clients dedicate some time to thoroughly testing the finished product before making it live to the world via the internet. Our team will test their own work as they proceed but it is not possible to test for every eventuality. The more pre-launch testing that is performed by a variety of different people, using different devices, the better. Our team will fix any bugs and errors that are identified during this pre-launch phase as part of the initially quoted cost of design and development.

All of our websites are designed to be fully responsive, meaning that they will adapt to any screen size – plus they also conform to prevailing web standards, meaning that they will work on all major, modern web browsers. We typically test web pages in a variety of modern browsers and can optionally specifically focus on testing particular browsers if we are asked to do so.

If needed we can arrange to have the finished software/site hosted on suitbale webserver infrastructure operated by a reputable third party and can then maintain and manage the site for an ongoing retainer fee. Alternatively, we are also happy to hand over the site and it’s operation to your own team once all fees are paid in full. In some cases it may be necessary to stress test the hosting environment before launching the site, particularly if it is anticipated that the site will receive a large amount of traffic in a short space of time. This is something we will discuss with you before committing to any particular hosting solution and can carry out ourselves when the time comes.

Finally, if agreed, once the site is running successfully, we will move on in to a maintenance phase where we update the site as needed and make changes in accordance with any other ongoing marketing and optimisation processes, such as SEO and CRO.
CONTACT US to Arrange a Quote