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Issue Date: June 2004

Towards effective web design: it is all about the business

June 2004

Creating an effective website can be a confusing and challenging prospect for many companies - in addition to designing and selecting the many elements that comprise an effective site, it must be created with its business purpose as the driving strategy.

That is according to Deidre Dawson, a director of Technology Concepts, which specialises in the creation of effective online presences.
"The overriding goal of a web presence has evolved from the days when it was nothing more than an online brochure, to today's communication portal that can include diverse elements such as commerce, services such as calculators for financial organisations and many others. With this reality, companies must foster a relationship between creative teams and technology experts in order to bring together the elements that result in a successful website," Dawson explains.
Just as companies look to specialists in the fields of radio, television or print communication to take their corporate image and branding to market, the Internet should be harnessed with the expertise of appropriate solution providers. "The designers who work to create the company branding and image clearly play an integral part in the creation of the site in terms of the 'look and feel'. But when it comes to structure and functionality, the business goals of the website can only be translated into reality by technically adept organisations," she continues.
Almost like the evolution of fine art from the heavy oils and foreboding scenery of the Gothic period to the clean, sweeping lines of the Minimalist movement, web design has moved away from graphic intensive, 'busy' pages, to tidy, fast-loading sites.
Technical excellence results in a website that is fully geared to the wants and needs of those who are using the portal. "In today's fast paced world, information overload is increasingly a challenge for busy workers. The website should reflect this reality and provide its users with the facts they need rapidly and unobtrusively. It must be stressed, however, that the creative team has to play an integral part in this process to deliver a website that reflects the corporate identity, yet delivers on the unique requirements of an Internet audience," she says.
"These are elements of the evolution of websites that both site designers and developers need to understand intimately, as both functions are critical when translating the goals envisaged by the business leaders into creative yet practical communication solutions," says Dawson.
As mentioned, technical capability and an understanding of web design principles are very important, however, an organisation should look for a company that also has a good knowledge of business in order to marry the business, technical and design goals of the web project. "Business requirements drive the website objectives and structure, and in turn will ultimately influence the most appropriate type of website," she concludes.
Technology Concepts, founded as a service provider of Internet connectivity and website and application development, has evolved into a leading provider of practical, cost effective and proven business solutions.
The company's business and technology expertise allows it to custom-build commercial applications including human resource, financial and sales and marketing systems to specific requirements within an open-architecture for both Linux and Microsoft environments.
As a total outsource partner and network provider, Technology Concepts provides and takes total responsibility for customer Internet infrastructure requirements including leased lines, mail systems, bandwidth management and security.
Source: Technology Concepts, tel 011 803 2169

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