Why is it that designs do not match up with the interactive experiences on the web?
There are often gorgeous web design comps on dribbble, behance, and designers’ portfolios. When you look look at the live website, however, there seems to be a considerable drop-off in the quality of the product. Something is lost between design completion and launch when you compare static comps and the live website. Yes, designed comps will never be one-to-one with the developed website, but an improved process between design and content entry can provide a more polished and delightful interface for launch.
Don’t Rush the QA Phase
There are many elements that can compromise the quality of the design. One major issue involves a rushed quality assurance phase. Designers and developers often have limited direct interaction within the timeline of a project. Combing through the website to implement and fine-tune the minuscule details is what sets great websites apart. The unfortunate result is often a limited set of carefully crafted design comps, and a live website that does not accurately represent the integrity of the initial comps.
Well-annotated designs can help, but direct collaboration between designers and developers will ensure everyone is on the same page. Together, both teams can put the final touches on the dev site, which will inevitably reveal key refinement opportunities that may have been previously overlooked.
Allocate Strong Resources for Content Entry
CMS content entry is another key phase of the process that has a tendency to undermine the quality of the website. Even if the content is beautifully written for web, it takes a designer’s eye to enter the content in a way that doesn’t destroy the whole product. Handing the keys to the CMS to the client for content entry can be tricky to navigate without altering the intended design aesthetic. Emphasizing content entry and multidisciplinary quality assurance ensures a successful interactive product that is an accurate representation of the initial vision.
Even with extensive training, the populated content may not be correctly allocated to particular modules, resulting in incorrect layouts and wysiwyg options. This can also cause the strategy guidelines to be ignored. Forming a multi-disciplinary team that enters content with aesthetics and strategy in mind will result in a much more polished product. Additionally, each time content is modified, factors such as visual assets and the sitemap are affected. With the dual involvement of a designer and writer in the content entry process, there is a reduced likelihood of the site launching with rogue visuals and inconsistent voice.
Carry & Communicate the Vision Through Every Phase
Therefore, instead of placing heavy emphasis on fleshing out and polishing specific pages, designing individual components enables versatility and accommodation for all content needs. The key takeaway? Communicate the vision for the creative direction through the initial design, and then focus on a thorough and strategic content entry process to ensure project success
Agency Tip:Dedicate a content team to play a key role in executing any strategy that has been brought forward, working with design to make sure your site gets populated beautifully.
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