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What are sub-page layouts and how do they apply to the web design process at On-Target?

Creating subpage layouts for a new website involves careful planning and design to ensure consistency and functionality across the site while addressing the specific content needs of each subpage. Here's how we do it at On-Target!

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1. Define the Purpose of Each Subpage

  • Content Purpose: Determine what each subpage is meant to achieve and what type of content it will host. This could range from detailed product descriptions, blog posts, about sections, contact forms, etc.
  • User Goals: Identify what users aim to accomplish by visiting each subpage, whether it’s to gather information, make a purchase, get in contact, view a gallery, watch videos, product or service details, or something else.

2. Information Architecture

  • Hierarchy: Establish a clear hierarchy that dictates the structure of information on the subpage. This includes deciding what content takes precedence and how it should be organized for user convenience.
  • Navigation: Ensure that navigation elements are consistently placed and function uniformly across all subpages. This helps in creating a seamless experience for users as they move through your site.

3. Wireframing

  • Layout Drafts: Create wireframes for each subpage to layout elements such as headers, text blocks, images, and CTAs (call to action). We use wireframing tools like Sketch, Figma, or Adobe XD for this purpose depending on the scale of the website.
  • Responsiveness: Plan for different screen sizes from the outset by designing responsive wireframes that adapt to desktop, tablet, and mobile views.

4. Visual Design

  • Consistency: Use a consistent design language across all subpages. This includes using the same color scheme, typography, and design elements to reinforce brand identity and user familiarity.
  • Custom Elements: Depending on the function of the subpage, design custom elements that enhance the user experience, such as interactive infographics on a ‘How it Works’ page or a well-integrated video background on the homepage.

5. Usability

  • User Interface (UI) Elements: Design intuitive UI elements that are easy to interact with. This includes readable fonts, accessible menus, and touchscreen-friendly button sizes.
  • Accessibility: Ensure that all subpages meet accessibility standards, such as ADA compliance, including alt text for images, sufficient color contrast, and keyboard navigability.

6. Content Integration

  • Content Placement: Strategically place text, images, and videos to balance aesthetics with functionality. Content should be engaging and placed to naturally lead the user through the page.
  • Dynamic Content: For subpages that require regularly updated content, like blogs or news sections, design a layout that makes updating content straightforward for content managers.

7. Optimization and Testing

  • Performance: Optimize images and multimedia for fast loading times. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to check and improve page performance.
  • Cross-Browser Testing: Test subpages across different browsers and devices to ensure that they perform consistently everywhere.

8. Feedback and Iteration

  • User Feedback: Collect feedback from real users and stakeholders to identify areas for improvement.
  • Iterative Design: Continuously refine subpage layouts based on user feedback and analytics to enhance user satisfaction and conversion rates.

9. SEO Considerations

  • SEO-Friendly Design: Ensure that subpage designs accommodate SEO best practices, such as proper use of headings (H1, H2, etc.), meta tags, and keyword-rich content that doesn't compromise user experience.

10. Documentation

  • Style Guide: Document the design process and decisions for each subpage to maintain consistency for future updates or redesigns.
  • Design System: Consider developing a comprehensive design system that includes components and guidelines for creating new subpages or elements in the future.

By following these steps, we create subpage layouts that not only look good but also provide a cohesive, functional, and user-friendly experience.