Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Web skills required to develop a great website

In the golden days of programming, life was relatively easy. The development of applications was for mainframes or mini-computers and required a limited set of skills. Those days are over. Today's web environment, although very rich in terms of capabilities, is extremely complex and required a very long list of skills.

This means that you cannot expect to have a great website if it is built by a couple of guys who do everything.

Skills by development phase

To build a good website, different skills are required depending on the development phase. For the strategy phase where the WHAT is defined, a combination of business and technology skills are required. In the web development phase (in green in the table), the knowledge required is more technical. Between those two phase is the design of the solution phase where skills in web user interfaces are most important. However, a good understanding of the business and technical issues is also required but not at the same depth.

StrategyDesign of SolutionWeb Development

  • Business strategy
  • Marketing
  • Web strategy
  • Web marketing
  • Web architecture
  • Information architecture
  • User interface (UX)
  • Analytics
  • Web technology

  • Information architecture
  • Business analysis
  • Functional analysis
  • Usability patterns
  • Page design
  • Persuasion
  • Prototyping
  • Search engine best practices for SEO and SEM
  • Design of landing pages
  • Accessibility
  • Social networks
  • Mobile devices
  • Technology architecture

  • Client-side programming (js, ajax)
  • Server-side programming (php, c#, java)
  • Usability / UX
  • Visual design
  • Writing for the web
  • Response time optimization
  • Audio/video production
  • Search engine optimization
  • Search engine marketing
  • WCAG (accessibility)
  • CMS (Content Management Systems)
  • Web services (WSDL, XML)
  • Database setup & design
  • Server setup & maintenance
  • Web infrastructure
  • SSL & security

Take away

The purpose of this post is to make you realize a few things. Web development is complex and requires a large number of skills. In the same way that you will not find good building architects that are also very good at plumbing, painting and electricity, you will not find a single person that is good in all 30+ web skills. The larger and more complex your website is, the larger the team of specialists needed to build a great website.

Speaking of great websites, how is your's? Poor, OK or great? Read my article Website maturity model and see where your website is positioned.


Villette said...

I think UX means User Experience, not User Interface.

Greets website design services consultant

Unknown said...

Dear Villette,
Your comment looks like a poorly disguised plug for your services.

Toronto Web Design said...

Thanks for sharing this information.It is very useful for me because i m new in this field.This information will help me a lot.

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