Here are the 5 things that I often need to improvise to complete websites on the basis of the design elements I receive from creative agencies. Make your next design 100% right by including them in your design process.
1. The favicon
That’s the little icon appearing on the tab or next to the site URL in your browser. This really is a detail as displaying a default favicon will leave most users indifferent. Looking at your own website though, if you are a design agency getting attention from within the industry, your website users will recognise straight away which framework or CMS you have been ‘covering up’ with your branding.
2. The 404 page
Or the ‘page not found’ screen. Even if you don’t have time to design it, it’s still good to provide copy for it. Web development frameworks and other starter templates are created to appeal to young geeks. The tone of their default 404 page and error messages might therefore not be appropriate if you are targeting big corporate clients.
3. Newsletter sign up pages and emails
As part of a newsletter sign up process, subscribers will receive messages to prompt them to verify their email address and to confirm their subscription. No need to stick to the defaults of your email marketing provider. It is actually recommended to design your own pages or at least come up with your own copy for them – once again, check the tone of the default ones, you might not find them suitable.
4. E-commerce thank you page and purchase confirmation email
Same as 3 but applied to that very last page and message sent to the visitor making a purchase online.
5. Last but not least… the navigation on tablet
In responsive design, the tablet layout is the one that I notice is the most often left out. It is not uncommon for me to have to improvise a mix between the mobile and desktop versions. That’s mostly fine – at least I never had any complaints – except when it comes to the navigation, where I feel I end up taking important design decisions. If you don’t have much time to work on the tablet layout, use it all to design the navigation.