Fundamentals of Website Design and Development

Fundamentals of web design and development

The 21st century has revolutionized the way human beings conduct businesses. There are hundreds, or even thousands of business transactions that happen every minute across the globe. A website is one of the most important assets for any business or organization.

The web design and development industry has been experiencing a growth for the last two decades. There are many reasons why most businesses own a website. Studies show that a large part of the population is spending more time on the internet.

What does that mean? That if you want to reach out to the target audience, or your customers, you have to establish an online presence. Website designers are tasked with the responsibility of building a virtual representation of your business.

Keep in mind that a website can make or break your business. If you embark on building a website for your company, ensure that it is a good one.

What exactly does web design and development entail?

Table of Contents

Design of a website

The act of designing a website simply means creating or planning the overall appearance of a website. It involves creating the type of website that would suit a particular audience. There are various elements of website design. Let’s have a look at some of them.

  1. Colour

Colours are not just colours-they hold different meanings and each trigger a particular feeling in a human being. For many years, people have used colours to signify certain emotions, objects or groups. Red for instance, usually signals danger while the white colour is a sign of peace. Green signifies nature/abundance.

Website design involves the use of various colours in such a way that they please the person who opens the website. Many companies usually have specific colours that represent them. In their websites, they try as much as possible to include these colours because it symbolizes their brand.

Great web designers have an eye for colour and will mix and match colours to produce a website that is visually appealing. If colours in a website don’t complement each other, you can be sure most visitors won’t be at it for long.

  1. Fonts, icons and Imagery

Companies/individuals design websites with the hope that people who visit the site will gain valuable information and eventually end up purchasing a product.

When someone searches and clicks on the link to your website, it’s like they are looking at many physical shops in a street selling the same commodities. For them to enjoy your site, the fonts should complement the site. It is advisable to use bold/different fonts for titles and subtitles.

Icons and imagery should also be used as much as possible through the website pages. All these is meant to make the visitor read the content of the website smoothly.

  1. Consistency is paramount!

If you’re building a personal brand, you will want people to identify you with some qualities. It is no different when you are designing a personal or company website.

If you decide to work with a certain set of colours or fonts, use them throughout the website pages. It makes your brand unique and enables your company to stand out.

Web Development

When you are done with the design part of a website creation you still have a long way to go. Remember the goal is to build a website that will stand the test of time and also help you achieve success. Consider the following factors when developing your website.

Web-developer skills

Web design isn’t as complicated as some people think. After watching a couple of tutorial videos on YouTube, you can easily set up your site. But then your site may face some problems and you won’t know how to solve them.

A good web designer should be well versed with web development terminologies such as:

  • CSS-deals with the visual appearance of website pages.
  • HTML-how web pages are structured.
  • Information architecture-this is how information content appears in any website.

Type of website

Before embarking on web design and development, web designers usually determine what type of website they are building. There are three types of website that you can build:

  • Company/corporate website.
  • Portals and forums.
  • Business/E-commerce websites.

These three types of websites are designed and developed differently. An e-commerce site is basically used to sell your products/services to the online community. The main purpose of a company site is to provide information.

There are specific templates that are used to design these websites. Although the structures of these websites may be different, the web development process is meant to enable them function properly.

Navigation of the website

The benefits if a good website to an individual/organization cannot be understated. Web designers usually have the target audience in mind when creating the website.

Let’s take an e-commerce site as an example. The e-commerce industry has continued to experience exponential growth in the past few years. This means that many businesses are creating websites and trying to establish a solid online presence.

When people open an e-commerce site, they expect to access its various pages/categories. They must be able to navigate from one part of the website to another with ease.

Websites which don’t allow a smooth movement between point A and B usually perform poorly because many people will avoid them. Speed is another factor that differentiates a good website from a bad one.

Speed

How do you feel when a website is taking too long to load pages? It’s usually annoying an you immediately move on to another website that loads faster. When building a website it is important to test and ensure that it doesn’t take too long to load pages.

Is Your Web Mobile Friendliness?

Singapore is one of the leading countries in terms of mobile penetration. On top of this, studies show that Singaporeans are accessing the internet via their smartphones than on computers.

With that said, a mobile-friendly website is one of Google’s most important ranking factors. This makes it necessary that you make your website mobile friendly.

10 Ways to Make Your Website Design Mobile Friendly

Creating Mobile Versions of Your Website

When smartphones and tablets started becoming popular, the standard practice was to create a mobile version of the website. However, this increased the website design and development costs, and there was a need for an easier and cheaper way of creating mobile-friendly websites. This brought about the creation of responsive website design and development.

Responsive Website Design and Development

With mobile devices taking precedence in accessing the internet, it is much cheaper to create a responsive website than having a website that catered to mobile and desktop users. The benefit of having a responsive website is that they improve onsite navigation and the user experience as well as being cheaper.

However, mobile friendliness today is moving from smartphones and tablets. Recent trends in website design and development have evolved to include the creation of responsive websites for wearable devices such as smartwatches.

Animations

2018 saw an increase in the inclusion of subtle animations, and have become one of the major fundamentals of website design and development in 2019. Studies show that animations can increase website traffic by as much as 78%.

There is also an increased array of website design and development tools that have influenced the use of animations on Singaporean websites. On top of this, designers and developers are adding animation deliberately in websites design. However, instead of the animations taking up the whole screen, they should be small and subtle.

Big animations will increase your page loading speeds. For this reason, animation needs to be subtle in a solitary section of the website. On top of this, subtle animations allow for a less distracting website design.

Mixing 2D And 3D Elements

3D animation has had a huge influence on web design and development, and there is an increase in tools such as Cinema 4D and Blender. AR, VR, and 3D printing are championing the production of 3D digital website content.

On top of this, CSS animations are imitating 3D effects and the basic idea here is to impose 3D elements over flat colours and contrast.

Editorial Style Layouts

The progressive standardisation of flexbox and CSS grid has allowed website designers to implement freer layouts. The layouts are not confined to a restructured grid in different columns, especially for their responsive breakpoints.

These editorial layouts are revolutionising responsive website design, as we know it today. Editorial styled layouts allow for more flexibility in the number of devices that can access the website without any glitches in navigation.

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps are improving a website’s UX that resemble the UX of native smartphone applications, which make websites more user-friendly. PWAs offer the functionality available in native apps such as hardware access, push notifications, offline access.

web design Singapore

PWAs can troubleshoot common problems that users face, such as lack of offline access, poor user experience, and website slowness.

AI-Powered Chatbots

The chances are that you might have potential clients outside of Singapore and in different time zones. This makes it virtually impossible to offer good customer service. If you were to have an actual customer care representative, customer service would be very expensive.

This is where AI-powered chatbots come in. They are a fundamental aspect of website design, and coupled with machine learning; they can answer FAQs, take an order, and connect the client with a human client assistant.

There is a variety of open-source bot building tools from renowned technology giants such as Facebook Bot Engine, and Engine, among others.

Accelerated Mobile Pages

Google is focused on enhancing the mobile browsing experience, and since 2015, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) has become one of the fundamentals of web development. AMP was created to the building of fast loading websites that work smoothly to these devices.

AMP pages can load in 2 seconds or less compared to non-AMP pages that can take up to 22 seconds. AMP is good for your SEO and can increase your website’s visibility and click-through rates since it will rank higher on SERPs.

It takes an AMP HTML open framework to build accelerated pages. On top of this, Google’s accelerated mobile pages website has detailed information, tutorials, and guides which offer everything you need for introducing AMP technology to your website.

Single Page Applications

SPAs are web application based on JavaScript, which works across a variety of devices. They are meant to minimise interruptions due to page reloading, boost performance, and to decrease web development time. They do this by responding to navigation actions without creating a request to fetch new HTML from the server side.

web design Singapore

Single page applications are a fundamental aspect of developing responsive websites. The latest trends in SPA are based on the React and Angular frameworks, which make it suitable and practical for hybrid apps.

Motion UI

Interactive web design is gaining traction and motion user interface is a fundamental aspect of website design and development. Motion UI has amazing animations, dynamic graphics, and it has a real impact on website usability.

Motion UI shows the developer’s ability to tell a captivating and visual story while using techniques and tools to communicate the message to the viewer. These libraries allows website designers to apply transition effects for a seamlessly UI.

Motion UI libraries are gaining popularity since it allows website designers to animate content without having a solid knowledge or experience in jQuery or JavaScript libraries.


Top Web Developers In Singapore

Building a website is not as difficult as it was a few years ago. There are hundreds of website builders that you can leverage to create a site for your business in a few hours. There are also many videos and articles that give free tutorials on how to use WordPress and other website building platforms for a DIY project. However, there are things only a professional web developer would know. In this article, we review twelve of the best web developers in Singapore. Before we do that, let us look at three primary reasons why you should hire a professional web developer in Singapore

Why Hire A Professional Web Developer in Singapore?

There are many reasons why you should get a professional web developer to build your corporate website. Here are the top three reasons why

Rapidly Changing Market Trends

While you may have a clue about how you want your website to look like, there are many trends in the market that a Google search will not tell you. Web developers have a better technical knowledge and are conversant with the trends shaping web development. They will be able to build and fine-tune your website to suit your needs and those of your clients, while incorporating new and time-tested features.

Save On Time and Resources

Building a website from scratch is time consuming and you might end up using more resources than a professional would have charged. Hiring a professional web developer will allow you to focus on content creation while the web developer creates a professional looking website for you.

SEO and Ranking Algorithms

Websites depend on search engines and social media to drive organic traffic. Learning SEO tactics and ranking algorithms from scratch can be a tough, even for professionals. Experienced web developers have mastered SEO tricks and will use them to optimize and rank your website high on search engine.  

These are just but a few of the reasons why you should hire a professional web developer. It might seem like you are making a huge investment, but it will be worth it.


Top Web Developers In Singapore

Having looked at the top three reasons why you should hire a professional web developer, here are the top web developers in Singapore.

MediaOne

This is one of the top web developers in Singapore. The agency provides web development services in not only Singapore but also other countries such as Australia. They not only offer strategic web development services, but also other complimentary services for an all-round website such as:

  • Web design
  • Professional SEO services
  • Content marketing
  • Social media optimization and marketing
  • PPC and link building
  • Conversion optimization
  • Reputation management

Over the years, it has created stellar websites for businesses in a wide range of sectors such as education, construction, financial, medical, travel and hospitality, industrial, franchise and the list is endless. Some of their notable clients include CapitaLand, SingTel, ST Electronics, P&G, Cambridge University, Maybank, DirectAsia, SportsHub, and a host of companies.

Their offices are located at 4B Craig Road Singapore 089664. For more information about their services and rates, contact them via email, enquiry@mm.com.sg. You can also visit their website, https://mm.com.sg.

Oasis Web Asia

The company was founded in 2009 and has built over 90 websites spanning diverse industries. They merged with Illigo Pte Ltd in 2015 to enhance the value of their services. They have won many awards over the years and their most recognizable award is the Promising SME 500 award presented by the Small Medium Business Association of Singapore. Their portfolio of services includes:

  • Web development and design
  • Pay per click and Facebook marketing
  • Mobile app development
  • E-commerce development
  • Real estate solutions

The list of services is longer than this and you should contact their customer care services for a quotation. Their top clients include Flow and Balance, CLS Touche Marketing Pte Ltd, Euro Tours, and Travel, NKS Hotel and Travel and over 320 clients.

You can view their website, https://www.oasiswebasia.com/, or visit them at 10 Ubi Crescent UBI, Techpark #04-65B Singapore 207900. Oasis Web Asia is in various top ten lists of the best web developers in Singapore 2018.

Wishbone D.C.

Since its founding in 1997, Wishbone D.C. has continued to surpass client expectations when it comes to web development. The top quality services have helped them maintain a 80% client retention rating. Their reputation is based on their artistic excellence, a solid foundation, and most of all technical ingenuity. Wishbone D.C. started out as a web development agency, but over the years, they have incorporated the following services:

  • Web development and design
  • Web and mobile application development
  • Digital marketing
  • UX and UI
  • Eye-tracking research
  • Search engine optimization
  • Reputation management

The company is situated on 60 Paya Lebar Road, #07-15 Paya Lebar Square lobby 1 in Singapore. You can also contact them on +65 62974404 or +65 9747 7499, or shoot them an email on design@wishbone.com.sg. Visit their website https://www.wishbone.com.sg/and get an insight into their web development and design.

Their top clients include Clean and Green Singapore, VJC Students, National Geographic Channel, Supernova just to name a few of their 156 clients. They have mid-level rates suitable for the average marketers and webmasters.

eFusion Technology

The company was founded in 2004 and has remained one of Singapore’s top web developers. They have affordable mid-level rates suitable for SMEs. Their team of talented developers is on the pulse of web development and design trends and the company maintains that they are grounded in all the web development concepts. Apart from web development, other services that they offer include:

  • Content management systems development
  • Web hosting
  • Search engine optimization
  • Website maintenance
  • Email marketing

They are one of the few web development companies with a 96% client retention rate and over 300 active clients. Some of their top clients include Hobee Group, C.K. Tags, Pokka Singapore, Singapore Flyer, and Inform Media.

You can visit their website https://www.efusiontech.com/or head office located at 321A Beach Road, Singapore 199557, or call them on +65 6292 3086 / 6291 3382. They are open from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 7.30 pm.

Creative eWorld

This is a startup that offers high-quality web and business solutions to other small and medium enterprises. Their services are geared towards educating and empowering their clients for maximum return on investment. The company was founded in 1995 and specializes in developing in-house web solutions for businesses and organizations here in Singapore. It also collaborates with other technology companies to provide a wide range of services and products. They have premier rates for individuals and businesses that are serious about their web presence. Their services include:

  • Web development and design
  • Mobile and web application development
  • Website management and maintenance
  • Digital marketing
  • WHYZE solutions for Easy Pay
  • Freight forwarding software
  • Search engine optimization

Most web development companies struggle with retaining half of their clients, but Creative eWorld Pte Ltd boasts of a 95% client retention rate. They have over 250 active clients and their top clients include the Thomson Women Cancer Center, Advocatus Law LLP, Gallery T, Beautiful Stones, Tianfu Steamboat, Everbest, Warner Music Group, SingTel, the Hosen Group Ltd, just to name a few.

To see their works, visit their website https://www.creaworld.com.sg/ or visit them on location at their office on 351 Alexandra Road, #05-01, Singapore 159944. You can also contact them on +65 6392 2857. For customer support, send them an email at enquiry@creaworld.com.sg.

iFoundries

Since 2005, iFoundries Pte Ltd has been offering premium website solutions to SMEs and established companies in Singapore. The company uses a robust inbound marketing strategy among other marketing technology tools to offer high-quality services at competitive rates. If you are looking for a professional that will take your business to the next level, this is one of the companies you ought to scout. They started out with web development, but they have grown to include services such as:

  • Web design
  • Inbound marketing
  • Digital marketing
  • Web hosting
  • Email antispam solutions

The company currently services over 600 companies including the Tanglin Club, Raffles Marina, Subway Singapore, Pasta Mania, Singapore Airlines, Deloitte, Country Holidays and more. They have provided excellent services to business in different niche with the main focus been achieving high-quality results and client satisfaction. They have success stories all over Asia to as far as China.

For more information on iFoundries Pte Ltd works, visit their websites and also read client testimonials and see what you can expect from the company. You can also contact them via email on web-enquiry@ifoundries.comor visit them at their Singapore office on 69 Ubi Road 1, #09-25 Oxley Bizhub, or call them on +65 6297 7751. They also have regional offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Notion Age

The company was founded in 2001 and they have accrued over 140 active clients. Their web development services are some of the most sought after in Singapore and they continue to roll out new and innovative web and business solutions for individual and corporate websites. Notion Age Pte Ltd has 50 full-time employees and hardly outsource their work to subcontractors. Their prices are in the midlevel range and this make them ideal for businesses that are on a tight budget. They have been able to enjoy a 90% client retention rate for the following services:

  • Web design and development
  • Custom Content management systems
  • Email and digital marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Integrated PR and marketing
  • Web application development

Notion Age Pte Ltd was voted Singapore’s fifth-best web development company in August 2018 and it has one of the top web design and development companies for years. Their notable clients including OHMM, Regus Singapore, Edenred, TechSource Systems, Microsoft Singapore, Toshiba Singapore, Mitsubishi Asia, Civil Aviation Authority Singapore and many more.

For a preview of their works, visit their website, https://notionage.sg/and contact them via phone on +65 6438 8303 for a quote. You can also visit them at their office located on 331B Beach Road, Singapore 199562.

Milan Design House

Milan Design House has a soft spot for helping SMEs realize their potential with world-class web solutions. Concisely, it is a custom website building company and has developed websites for business a broad range of niches in Singapore. The Milan Design House has been operational since 1999 and was part of the HostSG web design. They have provided their web solution to over 500 clients in Singapore and the greater Pan Asian region. Their services include:

  • System integration
  • Web development and design
  • Search engine optimization
  • Web SEO Analysis
  • Advertising and online brand identity
  • Business consulting
  • Custom content management systems
  • Digital and email marketing

They have an average of 89% client retention with over 200 active clients. Some of their notable clients include the Singapore National Eye Centre, Global Green Partnership, Shangrila Adventure, Sony Singapore, Skylon Export, Javamaids, Adroit Envisage, just to name a few.

You can view their past projects on their website, https://www.milandesign.sg/and be sure to check out the client testimonials for more reasons why you should work with them. You can also call and request a quote for their services on +65 6305 9999 or visit their offices on 10 Ubi Crescent #03-02 Ubi Techpark, Singapore 408564.

Verz Designs

The web development company was formed in 2009, and it is comprised of young and talented web developers with over 100 websites across different business niches under their belt. The company has some of the leading technology experts and designers in Singapore who use the latest platforms to help other businesses maximize the ROI using a custom website. Verz Design has an intuitive website that will give you an insight into the quality of their services. Their services include:

  • Web development and design
  • Client retargeting
  • Logo development
  • Custom programming
  • Email marketing
  • PPC advertising
  • Social media marketing
  • SEO
  • Sponsored search

Verz Design is one of the best web development companies in Singapore with more than 200 active clients and a 90% client retention rate. Their clients include SIA Engineering Company, Media Corp, Marina Bay Sands Singapore, ST Electronics, First Campus, and many more.

For an in-depth look into their works and services visit their website, https://www.verzdesign.com/. You can also call them on +65 6841 1680, or email them on enquiry@verzdesign.com. You can also visit them at their office, 56 Kallang Pudding Road, #07-05/06 HH@Kallang, Singapore 349328 and WhatsApp them on +65 6817 45609.

iPixel Creative

This is a growing web solutions company based in Singapore and it includes a small team of creatives that have experience in web development, design, and graphic design. iPixel Creative has been in the industry since 2007 and has both Singaporean and overseas clients. They are cut above the rest by their dedication to publishing valuable content on their blog that includes the latest trends in web hosting, development, and design. The iPixel Creative team provides world-class services such as:

  • Web development and design
  • Web and mobile application development
  • E-commerce development
  • Website hosting and domain
  • Email and digital marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Internet programming
  • Corporate branding

They have over 200 active clients this far with an enviable 90% client retention rating. They have provided services to Crowne Plaza Singapore, Mums and Babes, Obagi Medical, Trillion Commercial, Tako Pachi, Capital Advisors Singapore, Style Infinity, and many more.

Visit their website, https://www.ipixel.com.sg/or their social media pages to learn more about their services. You can request a quote of their services via email on enquiry@ipxel.com.sg. They also have an office at 21 Bukit Batok Crescent #12-79 Wcega Tower Singapore 658065 that you can visit during the normal business hours for an in-depth overview of their works and services.

Aiden Creative

Aiden Creative Pte Ltd opened its doors to the public in 2012. Since then, it has stayed on the pulse of trends shaping the modern digital space. Among the key drivers of the digital space, Aiden Creative Pte Ltd harnesses social intelligence as the key differentiator that makes their services all the more valuable. They have a wide range of services aimed at helping businesses create a significant online presence. These services are competitively priced and they include:

  • Web design and development
  • Android and iOS application development
  • Custom ERP solutions
  • Pay per click advertising
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Email marketing software
  • Website analytics

You can get more information about their services on their website, https://www.aidencreative.com/. They have over 40 active clients with a 93% client retention rating. Their clients include local and overseas clients such as Maybank, Mount Faber Leisure Group, Future Fashion Now, NTUC Club, Esplanade, MediaCorp, the Jewel Box, TTG Asia, Zest Academy Group, U Sports and more.

For information about rates and services, you can contact Aiden Creative via their email address conctact@aidencreative.com, or visit their offices. The main office is at 229 Mountbatten Road, #02-04 Mountbatten Square, Singapore 398007, or at their branch office at 45 Jalan Pemimpin #11-02, Singapore 577197. They also have a branch in Myanmar, if you need to make inquiries when you are in that part of the world. 

Smart Hosting and Design Solutions

This is one of the web development companies that have served the Singaporeans for close to 20 years. They not only offer online services, but also offline and local business solutions that complement the hosting and web design services. They have seen the digital space evolve over time and this makes them perfect for your next web development project. Their services include:

  • Domain name registration
  • Web development and design
  • Email/web/FTP hosting
  • Corporate identity and online branding
  • Social media marketing and optimization
  • Web SEO analytics
  • Marketing collaterals
  • SMS marketing
  • Printing and publishing
  • IT support
  • Mobile and website application development

In the web development circles, maintaining an active client portfolio is not easy, but Smart Hosting and Design Solutions have maintained an 87% client retention rating. Their clientele portfolio includes businesses such as AltaVista, AllTheWeb, Debonair Male, DMoz, and more. It was voted the second-best web design company in Singapore in September 2018.

Smart Hosting and Design Solutions can help you maximize your ROI; call them on +65 6337 7971, or use the 24/7 email support facility using ismart@smarthosting.com.sg. Their office is on No.1 Sophia Road, Peace Centre #07-17, Singapore 228149.


What We Considered in Our Evaluation

There is a multitude of web development companies and individual web developers to choose from in Singapore. We decided to review these businesses since they have vast experience, good reputation, and strict commitment to quality and research resources. We also considered the following attributes:

Client Retention Rate

The web development industry in Singapore is very competitive. Most company business models are hinged on cheap prices but they cannot guarantee the quality of their services. However, a customer retention rate of above 80% is enough proof that a company is credible and trustworthy.

Company Website

Website design has come a long way and there are hardly any two similar websites. A web developer with a professional looking website is likely to give better services. We looked at their SEO integration, page loading speeds, ease of navigation, among other analytics. We also consider the web developers that have high-resolution images and easy to follow content on their website.

Client Reviews

A company might have a professional looking website but the quality of their services is below standard. We scoured social media and consumer feedback websites for both positive and negative reviews. Of course, we went for the web developers with significantly higher positive reviews than negative ones.

Customer Support

The general feeling with most websites users is that customer support takes too long. We looked into those web developers with fast response times to client inquiries. You should also consider the same since you will need fast response whenever you need aftersales services such as website maintenance, hosting solutions, and more.

Complementary Services

It is always better to have web solutions under one roof. We picked web developers who offer additional services that complement web development and design.


Web Development Processes

The web development process can be broadly broken down into 7 stages. The amount of time each stage takes to finish is what determines your overall web development timeline.

As a client looking to hire a web development agency in Singapore, your main concerns are with time and money. You want your site to be completed in the shortest time possible without draining your pockets.

It’s to be however noted that the two values tend to vary depending on the scope and size of your project.

To allay your fears and give you something to follow up, a good web developer should outline your entire web development project before diving to work. They should assign timelines, highlight all the tasks at hand and where possible, establish a milestone for the entire project or for every single one of the tasks they’ll be handling.

That way, you’ll have an easy time keeping track of the implementation process just to make sure the agency or developer is by the end able to beat down the agreed deadline.

Stage 1: Collection of Information

This is the first stage of the web development process. Your web developer will basically want to know your purpose in your line of work, the goals you wish to achieve and your target audience before they can finally get down to work.

This stage is basically about digging out for as much information as it’s humanly possible about a client. In which case, the information provided will help paint a clear picture of how the final site should look like and operate.

The kind of question asked by the web development agency is meant to help them develop the best strategy to employ so as to make your project a success.

Every site has its own unique features. You can’t expect a news site to bear the same features and semblance as an entertainment portal. Plus every site is meant to serve a different purpose, so it’s important that it bears a totally different functionality.

By coming up with a well laid-out plan and strategy, the agency will be protecting itself from overspending on the resources it uses to solve unexpected issues. Which happens to be the kind of issues that crop up simply because the company rushed into getting a job done without giving it a thorough thought.

Stage 2: Planning – Sitemaps and Wireframe

Based on the data that was collected in stage 1, the agency can come up with a rough idea of how the site will actually look like and operate at the end of it all. That way, the client has an opportunity to request for necessary changes and offer suggestions where needed before the final work is completed.

So the first thing the agency will get to work on is the sitemap – which is basically a rough sketch of how the main areas of your site connect. For instance, it can show the connection between the pages, and the number of clicks an end user has to make to access any section of the site.

The whole point of site maps is to make sure the final site is easy to both find and navigate.

Read this bearing in mind that a site map is a very basic statement, taking the form a flow chart. It doesn’t show the user-interface or paint the real picture of how the actual site will look like.

So just in case the client doesn’t understand what’s meant by the sitemap, the agency will have to create a mock-up or wireframe. For what’s worth, this is a far more detailed visual representation of the site’s user interface. It doesn’t necessarily need to show the colour or logo, but it does paint a clear picture of all the elements one should expect to see in the final site, together with their appropriate locations.

Stage 3: Designing Stage

In this stage, the site representation is given more flesh. All the visual content including images, photos, logos and videos will be added, in their appropriate locations and just like they’d appear in the final site.

The designing phase is more concerned about the site’s layout. So the developer can decide to make a graphic sketch or proceed with an actual graphic design.

As a client, you’re at this point invited to take a detailed look at the presented design and offer detailed feedback or approval for the developer to work on.

Stage 4: Content Writing

Needless to say, every section of your website will need written content. That includes the headlines, sub-heading, call-to-action and about us.

It’s advisable that the content be created before or during the coding process so the developer can make necessary adjustments to them and how they fit on site.

So as a client, you’d want to make sure the agency has content before they can get down to actual coding, unless otherwise.

Stage 5: Coding

This is where the actual coding happens. Every single one of the graphical elements created is turned into code.

The developer will begin by developing the homepage, and thereafter adding relevant web pages and subpages as per the design.

They can choose to use a framework or CMS depending on the agreement you had earlier on.

Just in case you decided on using a CMS, this is where it’s installed on your website. It’s in this stage that the company checks if the site is optimized for SEO and everything else. Usually, they’ll do this by making necessary tweaks to the site’s title, descriptions, and keyword integration in the various sections.

They also have to ensure that they’re using a valid code, light enough to make sure the site loads up really quick for a better ranking in the SERPs.

Stage 6: Testing, Review and Launching

The site has to be tested and reviewed before launching. The company will begin by testing all the links to make sure they’re all working and directing to the right content and web section.

They’re also expected to run a code validator to make sure everything meets the required industry standards. One reason to do this is to make sure the site loads fine across all browsers.

Once done, the agency can go ahead and install the site via ftp. But they’ll be required to run another test to make sure the site still runs fast after it’s been uploaded on server.

Stage 7: Maintenance

Lastly, how does the agency intend to help you maintain the site? Just in case there arises security issues, will the agency be there to iron it out?

It’s also important that the agency informs you about bugs and other issues that are likely to occur over time. Will the company be there to offer you the much-needed support?


Simple But Comprehensive Website Usability Guide For Singapore Businesses

A majority of the internet users cannot put up with a bad online user experience and for this reason; website usability should be a top priority. When a user is unhappy with your website’s user experience, they will navigate back to the search engine to look for another site that meets their needs.

At least 88% of users will not go back to a website that offered a poor user experience. On the other hand, if you have great website usability, you will be able to hook the users to engage with your content, and this will have a profound effect on your conversions.

Unfortunately, most webmasters are oblivious to their website’s user experience. No matter the amount of money spent, you will still get few conversions if any due to poor website usability. In this guide, we look at the best practices you must apply to enhance website usability.

Top Best Practices to Enhance Website Usability

The downside to having a poor user experience is that the visitors will not tell you about it. The worst-case scenario is that Google and other search engines will penalise you by preventing your website from ranking high on their results pages.

These are the best practices you must consider to improve website usability in 2019

Optimise Your Website for Mobile Devices

Singapore has over 4.8 million users, and at least 4.7 million prefer accessing the internet via mobile devices. Surprisingly, there are still many websites that are not optimized for mobile, despite the statistics.

The users are not only browsing websites via mobile, but they are also making purchases. You need a responsive website design to optimise your website for mobile users.

However, you need to go the extra mile to enhance the user’s mobile experience. This includes knowing where to place your CTA buttons and other clickable links.

Follow WCAG Standards

Approximately 3.9 million people are living with disabilities in Singapore, and you need to consider them when developing content. The web content accessibility guidelines were created to ensure that websites meet the needs of people living with disabilities.

Everyone is entitled to good user experience, and you should not discriminate or discourage anyone from visiting and using your website. For example, there are thousands if not millions of colour blind people. A common misconception is that they see the world in black and white, but the truth is that they perceive colour differently.

In such a scenario, you should not use conflicting colours on your website. The WCAG standards dictate that your site needs to be operable, perceivable, robust, and understandable by as many people as possible.

Create a Visual Hierarchy

It takes approximately 2.6 seconds for a user to find the part of your web age that will stimulate their first impression. You need to make it easy for your visitors to understand what they are seeing and this will improve website usability.

The best solution is to create a visual hierarchy on your website that directs the user to the most important part of your content. Without a visual hierarchy, the chances are that users will miss the essential parts of the site and this will hurt your conversion rates.

When creating a visual hierarchy for website usability, consider the following factors:

  • Alignment
  • Size
  • Negative space
  • Colour
  • Position
  • Contrast

If you do not have web design experience, you should hire a professional web designer. They will tell you the things you need to change in your web design and create a proper visual hierarchy for you at affordable rates. A comprehensive website audit can also help you achieve this goal.   

Simplify the Website’s Navigation

You must have come across a website that was messy and cluttered. While you are busy focusing on creating a stunning homepage, they should know that users must be able to navigate to other pages on your website.

Ease of navigation is one of the crucial aspects of website usability and you need to do a website audit and simplify the navigation. For example, if you run an e-commerce website, you must simplify the navigation, which is one of the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment. However, ease of navigation needs to be a top priority for all websites.

Consider the following factors when simplifying navigation

  • How does the user get from the homepage to another page, for example, the blog
  • How long does it take them to move from point A to point B
  • How many clicks does it take

On top of this, the clickable text in all pages should be clear since it is a crucial factor in easing your navigation. You could underline it, change text colour, or turn the text into a button. All these practices will ensure that you simplify your website’s navigation your.

Establish Website Credibility

Internet users are very choosy, and they will only read content they think is credible. In order to enhance website usability, you need to establish credibility right off the bat; otherwise, users will navigate with doubts on their minds.

You can establish credibility by being transparent about your content information, prices, and content. Making users hunt for this information only hurts your website’s user experience.

Consider these figures when taking measures to establish website credibility

  • 86% of the users want to information on your products or services
  • 64% of the users want to see your contact information
  • 52% want to see the “About Us” section.

When it comes to price, some websites display the price after the item or service has been added to the shopping cart. While this is a way of offering deep discounts, it significantly hurts the site’s credibility.

Ensure That You Have Legible Content

If users cannot read the text on your website, they will leave and never come back again. This makes it vital that you ensure that you have legible content to boost website usability. For this reasons, you must take great care when choosing fonts, text colour, spacing, paragraph length, among others.

The average visitor reads 20% of your content, and legible content makes it easy to skim through. Short paragraphs with many headers, bullet points, and images enhance website usability, which will also improve your website’s credibility.

Finally, you need to establish consistency on every page of your website.  Switching layouts, themes, and other design elements for every page will be confusing and give off a bad user experience.

Website usability is a determining factor if you are going to be successful in the digital space. We hope that the above tips have opened your eyes to things you need to consider when tweaking your website to enhance its usability.


8 Singapore Web Design Tips For Usability And Users Experience

Designing or redesigning a website can be pretty exciting. This is often the first impression people have of your business. Unfortunately, when it comes to creating the perfect website design, Singapore businesses get caught up in all of the wrong things.

They focus mostly on the colour scheme, the placement of their logo, and the images. Are these things important? Of course, they are, but they should not be your main priority. Instead, you should place your attention on user experience.

What type of experience do your visitors have? How easy is your website to use and navigate? Is it fully optimised? Let’s talk about a few tips for ensuring that your web design is ideal.

1) Simplicity

In most cases, your visitors are not judging your website based on how innovative it is, they are likely there so that they can complete a specific action. This means that they want to visit a website that is fully functional. In other words, your design needs to be as simple as possible.

So make sure that you are not using too many colours. In fact, it’s best not to use more than five different colours in your design scheme. All of your typefaces need to be legible. And just as is the case with colours, you shouldn’t use too many. It’s suggested that you use no more than three typefaces. When it comes to graphics, you should only use them if they actually help the user complete certain tasks. Anything else is extra.

2) Hierarchy

When arranging your website, you need to create a hierarchy so that your visitors are naturally attracted to the most important elements. When you’re optimising for usability, your priority should be to help visitors create a desired action–preferably in a way that is enjoyable. In order to create a definite structure, adjust the colours, sizes, and position of certain elements on your page.

3) Navigability

The navigation of your website should be intuitive. This makes it easier for people to find what they’re looking for. People shouldn’t have to think for too long about what step they should take next.

In order to ensure this, your navigation needs to be positioned at the top of the page. Use breadcrumbs on each page so that your visitors are fully aware of their navigation trail. Make sure that your site features a search box at the top so that your visitors can search by keywords. Avoid including too many navigation options–with a maximum of three levels. Include links in your content and ensure that it’s clear where these links lead.

4) Consistency

Not only should your navigation be simple, but it should also be consistent. All of your colour schemes, backgrounds, typefaces, and writing tones should be consistent as these factors will have an impact on UX and usability. This isn’t to say that each page should feature the same layout but that your visitors should understand what kind of information they should expect on each page.

5) Accessibility

One of the keys to providing a great user experience is to ensure that your site can be accessed on every device, operating system, and browser. Your web structure needs to be flexible and responsive. Your content should resize to automatically fit any screen. All of your images should conclude alt-text. Your site may not look identical on each platform, but it should at least offer the same quality experience.

6) Conventionality

There are certain design elements that users have become accustomed to over the years. And these are things that they expect to see on every website, no matter the industry, products or services. For examples, users expect to see the navigation positioned at the top of the page or on the left side. They expect that when they click the logo, that is usually at the left or center of the page, that they will be taken back to the homepage. They expect that when they hover over a certain link, it will change colours.

What this means for Singapore website developers is that you should cater to these expectations. You may want to do something new and exciting to get your audience’s attention, but keep in mind that you may do so at the risk of user experience. When you change a staple design element, people can become easily confused. Stick with the most conventional methods.

7) Credibility

What’s great about using the most conventional design elements, as well as all of the other design elements that we have discussed so far, is that it can help your build a certain amount of credibility. People are more likely to trust your products because the navigation is simple, conventional, and nothing seems like it’s being hidden. Your visitors will instantly know what products and services you sell. They won’t have to search through dozens of pages to find the simplest of answers.

Another good way to build your credibility is to create a pricing page. There are some Singapore companies that require visitors to contact them personally in order to get a price range. However, by listing your prices and ensuring that people can easily find them, it makes your business seem that much more trustworthy.

8) User-Centricity

If you want to ensure that your web design is perfect for your audience, then you’re going to have to do your share of testing. More specifically, you’re going to need to do some A/B testing to find out which design features resonate with your audience. Sure, the points we have just listed here are a great starting point, but you need to take into consideration the preferences of your audience. You need to take the time to gather feedback on what they like because ultimately, they are who you’re designing your website for.

Luckily, there are a lot of tools that you can use in order to make this process easier. For example, Crazy Egg tracks several domains under one account and gives you insights into your site’s with the help of a scroll map, heat map, overlay, and confetti. Loop11 helps you to create usability tests.

According to research, over half of users don’t convert because they assume that the website does not care about their experience. So what this means is that Singapore companies need to invest more time into their overall user experience. Think about what the user wants. Get feedback from them. Make sure that you meet all of their expectations. Don’t go overboard with uniqueness. Keep things simple. By putting yourself in the shoes of your users, then you will be able to get a return on your investment.


8 Tips For Hiring Web Designers In Singapore

Are you looking for professional web designers in Singapore? Indeed, contracting the best website design Singapore team to work on your upcoming website will ensure that you get value for money.

Contrary to popular belief, using website builders is not ideal if you want to get much visibility online and generate revenue. Chances are that hundreds of other businesses in your niche used the builder and template to create their websites. Therefore, standing out from the crowd will be an uphill task.

There is no shortage of web designers in Singapore, but you have to make sure that you hire the best to get good results. Here are eight tips to help you find a web developer in Singapore who has the skills and expertise needed to create a professional looking website for your brand.

1: What do you Want?

Knowing what you want and what you don’t want will ease the process of selecting a website design in Singapore. Before you reach out to a website developer, list down websites that you admire then narrow down to those that you feel best resonate with your brand and audience. Share the list with the designers to help them get a clearer perspective of your personal preference and goals.

Ask yourself, do you want a visually appealing site that is trendy or a conservative website? Will you be making regular edits to the content? Will the site need to be updated every monthly or annually? The answers to these questions will help you to know what you want and steer the website development project in the right direction.

2: Look at the Portfolio the Web Designers in Singapore in your List

Thanks to fast internet connection across Singapore, you can easily compare and contrast the services offered by each web design company in Singapore you are eyeing. Take time to review each designer’s portfolio before making your final decision.

Look at their past projects and what they are currently working on to know if they can match your expectations. Do not shy away from asking for additional information about the projects they have worked on before to get a clear perspective of what to expect from them.

3: Check Out References

As noted by Fyne Lyne Ventures principal, Lynn Amos, referrals from business associates whose websites resonate with what you are looking for will help you pick the right website designer in Singapore. During the consultation session, request for references from past as well as current customers. Look at the sites they have designed to gauge the quality of their services.

Carrie Middlemiss, the current director of marketing at Metia, solicit recommendations from other business executives that you know. While there, ask how well the website designer communicated the project progress and met deadlines.

In the event that the business platform has a solid partner network, carry out a background research of the recommended partners. Ideally, a good partner marketplace will offer a selection of agencies as well as examples of previous projects, industries they specialise on, and budget ranges.

The bottom line is that, you should reach out to at least two current and former clients to get a clear perspective of what to expect from the selected web design company in Singapore. References who were not contented with the service rendered will warn you before you sign the contract documents.

4: Hire a Web Designer Who is Conversant with your Preferred CMS

There are many content management systems (CMS) in the market today. As you evaluate the various web designers in Singapore, consider their expertise in developing websites using your preferred CMS. Most of the website design companies in the country have partner ecosystems that you can use to come up with a list of designers who are properly accredited.

If you are yet to select a CMS, looking for a web design company that can guide you through the decision making process. Your business objective should be factored in during the CMS selection process. Note that some CMS such as Website Tonight, Wix, and Squarespace are template and proprietary based. JoomlaDrupal, and WordPress are open source.

One of the main differences between open source CMS systems and Proprietary CMS systems is that the latter have a simple interface – and this makes them ideal for non-techy users but the customisation options are limited. On the other hand, the open source CMS systems are completely customisable and installing new updates is easy.

Another important factor to note about proprietary systems is that you cannot move the website if you are not contented with the services offered by the hosting company. Most web designers in Singapore prefer working with open source systems as they are independent of hosting companies and offer more customisation freedom.

5: Your Budget Should be Realistic

Companies that offer services related to web development in Singapore charge different prices for their services. As you research the industry, get to know the average cost of creating a website in Singapore. Ideally, the cost of a new website design in Singapore is dependent on the project requirements such as number of pages, special functionalities to be added, and intricacy of the design.

Needless to say, a simple website with only 4-5 pages will be cheaper than an e-commerce website that requires hundreds of product pages. The point we are putting across is that your budget should be realistic. Nonetheless, do not sacrifice quality for price.

6: Who will Work on the Project

Some Singapore web design agencies have an in-house team of developers while others outsource the work to individual website developers. It is important to know if your project will be outsourced or worked on by the in-house team before committing yourself.

The main challenge of outsourcing projects is that if something is done wrongly or you need the website updated, you will have to wait for hours for the website developer to rectify it especially if you are in different time zones. To avoid this problem, request to meet the team that will work on the project. Schedule a brainstorming session with them to ensure everyone who will be involved understand the requirements and what you want to achieve at the end of the project.

7: Confirm that the Website Designer Will Complete the Project on Time

Can you complete the project within my deadline? Before you sign the contract document, ask the website designer if they are comfortable with the set deadline. If not, set a new deadline and milestones. Agree on when the designer will send project progress update and the number of revisions you can request to avoid challenges down the road.

8: Web Design Copyrights

As mentioned earlier, it is not recommended to use the conventional free website templates and builders if you really want to stand out from the competition. Before hiring one of the web designers in Singapore on your list, ask him or her if he is willing to surrender all intellectual property rights associated with the web design to you after completion of the project.

It is important to know this upfront, as not being the sole owner of the website design and the content can hinder you from getting investment capital if you decide to sell your business. Any professional web developer in Singapore will sign over the intellectual property right to you after completing the project. It is a common practice, if they don’t, move on to the next web developer.

Hiring the best web designers in Singapore will give your business a firm footing in the country. Draft a contract document and request the agency to sign it to cushion you from any eventuality.


Building a great website is not something you will complete in a few days. When you are done designing and checking that the site functions properly, there is still some work to do to ensure that your site performs exceptionally.

Your may need to partner with people offering services such as photography in order to ensure that the content in your site of high quality. Marketing and advertising your site is also vital, for instance, most webmasters use SEO to ensure that they ran higher on search engines.

Website design and development is a process that requires patience and dedication. Webmasters can only succeed when they endeavor to build a site that is user-friendly and offers value to the target audience.

Get in touch for the best custom web design in Singapore. 

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.
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September 11, 2018

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