Checklist for Website Design Considerations for Today’s Companies

Volume 3, Number 1, Appendix A

This checklist accompanies a DataPlex, Inc. article entitled Things to Consider When Building or Redesigning a Website.

Before any Design Work Begins:

  • What is the purpose of the website?
  • What are the goals of the firm for its website?
  • Who is the primary target audience?
  • What other types of visitors to be expected?
  • How will the firm present its message to its visitors?
  • Can aspects of the firm’s business be represented graphically?
  • How will the site’s content be organized?
  • Does the firm have trademarks or brands to promote?
  • Are there graphic images available that relate to the text?

Additional questions from the design team based on the characteristics of the firm, its industry, and its business procedures and the number of products or types of services, the size of its customer base, covenants, government regulations, etc.:

Graphical Interface

  • Is the overall graphical interface inviting?
  • Are some elements elaborate and distract?
  • Does the site look old or new?
  • Is there a balance between form and function?
  • Completely review with design team

Usability

  • Are the navigation controls appropriate for the site?
  • Review the placement of and margins for major site components
  • Check Colors, color depths backgrounds and graphical effects
  • Check Text and overlay brightness, contrast and transparency
  • Consider common screen resolution being used by visitors
  • Works well with desired browser and operating system types
  • Support Mobile devices with small screens such as cell phones
  • Support for visitors with special needs
  • Review with design team

Content

  • Is the content easy to read?
  • Is it consistent and focused?
  • Does it make clear points?
  • Will it keep reader’s interest?
  • Are there places of too much detail?
  • Is it structured and positions well for easy scanning?
  • Are there time-saving connections to other areas?
  • Is there content posted that does not meet with the site’s philosophy?
  • Reviewed by design team?

Coding

  • Are the coders experienced?
  • Has the code been well tested?
  • Do the pages render properly in all major browsers?
  • Is there any missing content or web pages?
  • Is the usability impaired in any way?
  • Is there any functionality that does not work?
  • Are there any gross web page errors?
  • Are there any broken navigational controls and links?
  • Are the pages being indexed well in Search Engines?
  • Are there any long download times?
  • Are there any incompatible or distorted graphics?
  • Does the design team ensure an ongoing, well-formed website operation?

Website Engineering

  • Obvious web site considerations:
    • graphics design
    • style sheets
    • content: text, pictures, music, video
    • interactive components (e.g. Flash)
    • easy to understand site navigation (e.g. menus)
    • request forms, guestbook or discussion forums, as appropriate
  • Non-obvious considerations:
    • low-level graphic and special effect issues
    • behind the scenes website organization & structure
    • compatibility with different browsers and computing devices
    • web server configuration and ongoing maintenance
    • backup and disaster recovery (e.g. mirrored sites)
    • database engine (e.q. SQL) and scripting languages (e.g. ASP, PHP)
    • sourcing, including and accounting of third-party advertisements
    • referring sites and Search Engine positioning
    • easy way for firm personnel to update content
    • transactional processing (e.g. handling payments and downloads)
    • Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s) for employees
    • email, ftp and other web-related services

Beyond the Website Design

  • Will the website need to be expanded soon for additional functionality?
  • Does the firm have custom programming requirements?
  • Are there software applications that could be integrated with the web?
  • Is there hardware that needs to or could interface with the applications?
  • Are there any other technical issues that could be addressed at this time?

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