Table of Contents
Enterprise Web Design: What To Look Out For
Do Your Research
Research is everything if you’re planning on building a website that will be able to scale in the long term, handling an increasing burden of users and resources. Before the real enterprise web development work begins, it’s worth taking the time to scope out the market and understand the competition before you dive in.
This research should ideally cover at least a few of these bases:
- What kind of design layouts and tech stacks are bringing in the best results?
- Is there a particular gap in the market that your new website can fill? How?
- Do you have the budget and skills to bring those design documents to life effectively?
Choosing a Stack
There are many options here, so it’s understandable if you initially feel overwhelmed. Use your research to help you make the right choices here. Look at what you want your website to do, and then search for the tools that can most effectively accomplish that goal.
The Development Life Cycle Model
Think of a development life cycle model as a blueprint for everything you will develop later for your enterprise website. This process document will guide developers from the initial planning stages up to post-launch maintenance. This model will help organize the development process and ensure the final product meets a high standard. Here are two examples:
- Waterfall: This is the simplest development model and often the best for beginners. The waterfall development life cycle model takes a linear approach to enterprise web design, requiring each development step to be completed before the next one can begin. This model is straightforward to follow and significantly reduces the chances of errors. On the other hand, it doesn’t leave much room to accommodate course corrections on the fly.
- Agile: Agile fixes the core weaknesses of the waterfall model, making it a popular choice for enterprise web development. As a development life cycle model, this option prioritizes flexibility and customer satisfaction. The development process is broken into small cycles, or sprints, that are meant to churn out a usable prototype. This shippable product can then be tested with customers, allowing developers to improve it during the next sprint. This model can speed up the development process but also requires tight organization.
Once you’ve built a process document, it’s time to come up with the overall skeleton of the website. This aspect of enterprise web design serves two functions:
- It’s an effective way of showing your client what their future website could look like, allowing them to give their feedback early in the process.
- Working out the website’s overall layout can help developers reach a more realistic estimate of the overall budget and the best way to utilize it.
While working on the design, keep these points in mind.
- Documentation: Prepare documentation as you go through the enterprise web development process. This will help you communicate better with your team and also help out with potential troubleshooting later. Design documents typically mention the technologies used during development, specifics about the website layout, and general guidelines.
- Layout Trends: What kind of layout is most effective for your niche? Are your competitors going for a retro Y2K look, or would a more modern gradient style work better for the website? Stay ahead of front-end development trends to build something your visitors will remember. If you’re working on an Agile model, you can solicit customer feedback to see what works best.
Picking Tech Integrations
This could be considered a part of picking a tech stack, but we’re mentioning it separately due to how important it is for designing an enterprise website.
In this context, ‘integration’ refers to the many different third-party technologies that go into creating a functional website. For example, an ecommerce website would typically integrate a payment portal and a security provider like Cloudflare DNS.
User interface and the overall user experience are pivotal for enterprise web development. Around 94% of users say they wouldn’t trust an outdated website. If you’re working on building a new website, it pays to pay attention to the trends so that you don’t end up releasing a project that is outdated at launch. There are two easy ways of determining which UI features work best for your website:
- A/B Testing: Say you have two versions of a web page, each with a unique layout, and you want to know which one is better in terms of performance/conversions/engagement. A/B testing helps you answer that question with meaningful data. You can compare the two versions and see which one wins by looking at which page got more clicks (or any other relevant metric). Timely A/B testing in enterprise web development can help ensure you are on the right track.
For example, Google’s famed ‘Canary Deployment’ is a type of A/B testing that has completely changed how we look at product development. Canary deployment involves releasing new features to a small subset of users (often randomly selected) and using their feedback to improve those features for the full deployment.
- Heatmapping: Heatmapping is used in enterprise web design to learn about how visitors actually interact with the website. In this tool, interactivity is shown through colors. Warmer colors denote areas that receive more clicks or scrolls, while colder colors show the opposite. Heatmaps can help designers determine the best placements for calls to action and what improvements they can make to improve engagement.
When developing an enterprise website, your UI should:
- Be snappy and responsive, from menu animations to media playback.
- Be easy to navigate. Make sure your website follows a logical structure. Users will likely click off if they can’t find what they want in seconds.
- Include key accessibility features like magnification and night mode.
These are just a few examples of good UX for designing enterprise websites. When it comes to enterprise web development, the look and feel of your final website should be based on customer feedback and market considerations.
Web Development Framework
Web development frameworks and development life cycle models can sound similar if you’re new to the subject. However, they’re both entirely different concepts that each play a unique role during development.
While a development life cycle model is more of a prescriptive document that outlines the steps in creating a website, web development frameworks provide the concrete structure and resources for the actual build. This is a combination of libraries and tools covering both the front and back end. You might have heard of popular front-end frameworks like React, or back-end frameworks like Django.
Frameworks serve an essential purpose in enterprise web development.
- They help streamline and speed up the overall development process.
- They ensure your enterprise web design project is scalable by improving website performance.
- They provide stability, reducing the likelihood of bugs.
You can build a great website with many trendy features, but it won’t take off unless it passes key quality checks. Each business has its unique list of priorities when it comes to quality criteria, and your documentation should outline yours. Here are a few general examples of quality criteria for enterprise web development:
- Performance: Do the pages load quickly and consistently, even with high traffic? Does that performance translate to other devices as well? It’s worth using an external benchmark here. Remember that the chances of someone clicking off your website increase by 32% as load times go from 1 second to 3.
- Usability: Usability testing in enterprise web design measures how easily users can navigate and use a website’s features. This could range from simple menu bar navigation to accessibility features.
- Security: Having a secure website is everything in enterprise web development, particularly if you’re in ecommerce. Most customers will be unwilling to go through with a purchase if they are not 100% certain the website is secure. The QA stage is the perfect time to ensure your website has all the necessary security certificates like SSL.
The work doesn’t stop once the website goes live. Many developers see new issues crop up after the launch despite a ton of testing, and that’s okay. At this stage, it’s important to monitor the website through heatmapping or Google Analytics to see if visitors are interacting with it correctly.
If you do spot any issues, don’t forget to log them (and the fixes!) in an easily accessible document for future troubleshooting.
Design Your Dream Enterprise Website
A well-built enterprise website can be an enduring source of pride and profit for a growing business, and building one is much easier if you follow a structured approach. Use our tips to ensure your next website looks and performs like a champion.
If you’d like assistance with enterprise web development, contact Coalition Technologies for a free consultation today. Our expert developers have helped businesses generate millions in annual revenue with snappy websites that boost sales and rank with the best.