I am surprised I haven’t written about web design in the past since it’s what I have been doing the past two years at double dragon studios. There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to making an effect web design for your clothing company. One of the most important aspects is web usability.
Web usability is an approach to make web sites easy to use for an end-user, without requiring her (or him) to undergo any specialized training. The user should be able to intuitively relate the actions he needs to perform on the web page, with other interactions he sees in the general domain of life e.g. press of a button leads to some action. The broad goal of usability can be:
- Present the information to the user in a clear and concise way.
- To give the correct choices to the users, in a very obvious way.
- To remove any ambiguity regarding the consequences of an action e.g. clicking on delete/remove/purchase.
- Put the most important thing in the right place on a web page or a web application.
In short communicate what your company is all about within the first couple seconds of a user visiting your site then make the site simple and intuitive so anyone can use it.
A great book on web usability is Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition. I’ll try and go further in depth in posts later about how to communicate what your company is all about and how to improve your websites usability.
SEO (search engine optimization) is another thing that you need to think of when designing a web site. I use wordpress to run the blog or clothing companies and any pages like about, faq. WordPress has great plugins for SEO and you can tweak your SEO as much as you want. If SEO is something that you don’t understand use the search in the upper right of the site and you can find some good articles on the subject.
I have been using bigcartel to do the stores and cart but it doesn’t give you a lot of options for the individual pages SEO. You can basically just change the meta tags on the layout and it goes on all the pages. The names of thumbnail images aren’t descriptive and you can’t change the url of any items after you create the product. It leaves a lot to be desired.
I have started to use magento which gives you tons of SEO options and other plugins and it has everything you want. It takes more time to develop and you need to get a better host to run it since it uses a lot of resources but it is one of the better carts out there and probably has the most features of an of the free carts right now.
CMS, or content management system is a must. I still have friends I knew from college making static websites or all flash sites and it just makes updating anything a pain in the ass. You will need to have a webmaster update everything which can get expensive. WordPress, big cartel, and magento all are great CMS’s and you’ll be able to update everything with no knowledge of coding. Unless a client needs a new design I don’t do any updates on a site.
Social bookmarking and user comments are also important.
Facebook has come out with http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/comments you just insert the code into your site and people can easily leave comments on your products. the beauty of it is you just need a facebook account to make a comment, it’s super easy.
I also have a social bookmarking plugin I use on wordpress. You can check it out below you can easily share my posts with the click of the button.
On my e-commerce product page I use this thing called add this. http://www.addthis.com/
So that’s what I’ve got off the top of my head. Put up some comments or questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.