You may ask yourself why I dedicate a post to such a basic question. After all, custom web design and web development are our main offers at our agency, and we often mention them on our blog. The evolution of the digital services space has been a little cloudy, making it difficult for customers to even understand the difference between a website specifically designed for them and a website that is licensed and modified and was originally designed for more general use.
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I feel it is important to dedicate a post to identifying the differences between the two approaches, because the details matter and the sentences are completely different. First, let’s start by simply defining what a user’s web design is and what isn’t. Then we will delve into the explanation of how the project progresses differently in the process of individual design and how it affects the overall timeline and budget of the project.
Finally, we’ll mention some of the benefits of a user-friendly approach over the reusability of a template.
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Defining Custom Web Design
To get started – let’s define what a custom web design is. User web design can best be described as a thorough process that produces a user interface and experience in response to customer input. What is customer input? There are several that are introduced throughout the process. We will examine this in detail in the next section, but to preview the input from the client, this is information that custom web designers can in turn use to get the output. These results are usually design designs or working prototypes.
An alternative approach adopted by the industry over the years is the idea of a flexible topic. This means that the website developer will install the pre-designed and developed theme in the content management system, and then modify it in accordance with the requirements of the client. Two things are different from this approach. Firstly, the client’s contribution is independent of the design. They are much more functional and content oriented. Secondly, the output is not a reproduction; they are often functionally working results.
I want to express my opinion on what themer is because it is important to note how we relate to these professionals in the industry. Themer is not a web designer. Nor are they a web developer. Themer is just what it is like; they download, install and configure themes. Often, changing these topics is possible without knowing how the code works. I’m not saying that being a themer is a minus – this is the role that the industry has created, and it adds value to many client projects. But the idea of custom products from themer is ridiculous at best, because there is nothing special about the product they produce. It almost always contains ready-made materials, such as themes, plugins, and their joint configuration. This is also one of the important components of the price discrepancy, which we described in detail in this blog earlier. Website operators and customers need to understand the two approaches and how they differ, since each method affects your business.
I already mentioned that the process for each method is very different. It is worth delving into it a little more. Instead of describing in detail the methodology of each method, I will focus on the individual web design process and comment on the differences after.
Designers and their clients will spend time together to determine what is at stake. Why are you developing this site? Who are your visitors? What do you want them to do? How is the sales process going? How do your visitors find you? What determines the success of this initiative? And finally, what are your aesthetic preferences and what design resources are readily available to you? All of these issues lead to a brief description of the project or specification that guides the design process.
- Conceptual representations. Designers will spend time creating custom views based on their findings from the discovery process described above. Some designers will create one version. Others may give options. There is no right way to do this, but the choice has some advantages for the client compared to choosing one option.
- Review and approval: this is the part where collaboration is vital. Clients should always provide feedback and prepare to think that they will need to go through several stages of the review. The review process is a mechanism by which customers can change designs by working with a designer to circumvent business requirements and personal preferences. This should not be perceived as a difficult task, but rather an effort between the two teams to achieve the goals identified in the opening.
- Interface coding. When all projects are completed, the best website agencies now integrate front-end coding with the design process to create coded, functional templates. This is important because it provides customers with a different reference point for validating their design before internal integration. External coding should be considered, in my opinion, as a design task, because today’s experience includes animation, transitions and responsiveness, which cannot be formulated in a static design file, and are often located above the creative heads of many server parts. Developers
- Delivery for integration: only after approval, all front-end files can be sent to developers who can integrate these templates into systems that ensure their work. This step allows the client to take a breath and focus on the next stages of the project.
How is the process changing for fans? Well, for starters, the idea of “discovery” does not include most of the design perspective, other than providing the client with a list of possible topics to choose from. Since nothing is “developed” on its own, there is no need to discuss aesthetic preferences with the client. And, as such, there are no conceptual representations. The client selects the theme, themer installs it on the platform, and then it is presented for any changes. In addition, there is no need for external coding, as this has already been completed as part of the topic. So, the main difference is that the process of creating themes is a series of configurations rather than a design. This is a significant difference between a real designer and a themer. Themer’s do not necessarily have design abilities or skills; they are simply those that can install and configure software without significant tweaks.
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