Designing a new website might seem like a daunting task. It’s simple, however, once you break it down into a few do’s and don’ts.
You can do this by asking yourself a few questions before you start the designing process. The answers to these will give you great clarity on how to proceed. It will also give your designer everything he or she needs to know in order to deliver exactly what you have in mind, and make suitable suggestions.
Designing a new website should not be confusing or intimidating. It should be filled with fun and anticipation, and this is the best way to go about it. Here are some questions to get you thinking along the right track.
- What is the purpose of the website?
This is, perhaps, the most important question that needs answering when designing a new website. What do you want your website to accomplish?
Do you want it to:
- provide information
- promote a service
- sell a product
- generate leads
Once you identify your website’s goal, you will be in a better position to ascertain your technical and non-technical preferences for incorporating into the website. Like, the CMS or web framework you want to use, the payment gateways you prefer, whether the website should integrate with other systems and so on. You will also be able to determine the requirements related to usability, security, loading time, and legal aspects.
You could consider a few more aspects of website design for a more comprehensive approach to designing your website.
- Who is your target audience?
Your website does not need to ‘speak’ to millions of people on the Internet. It does, however, need to speak to the right people – your target audience. Great design begins with a good understanding of who it’s for. In addition to your audience’s demographics, learn about the psychographics. This includes your customers’ pain points, their problems and fears. If your website can promise to solve their problems and deliver on that promise, then you have a winning website right there!
Once you have identified your buyer persona, you will be able to select the right design elements to build your website. These would include typography, colour palettes, layout and navigation. This way, you can tailor your website to fulfil their needs and wants. Always keep your end user in mind when designing a new website.
- What is the scope of the project?
This is something you need to be very clear about, with complete transparency between you and your designer. Based on your vision for the website, and everything you have spoken about it, your designer will define in writing, the services he or she will be providing. In essence, it is a record of the deliverables.
You need to be precise about what you need with regard to designing your new website so that it may be entered into the scope of work.
Here are some points that should be covered in the scope:
- project goals
- budget for the project
- type of website
- typical user of the website
- type of content for the website
- message to be conveyed through the website
- examples of websites that you like and dislike
- deadline for completion of the website
Don’t add something to the scope later. That’s negative scope, and it simply results in a lot of unnecessary work and waste of time.
- Who are your competitors?
Identifying your competitors and studying their websites has a three-fold function. It can help you:
- see how they operate and adopt their most effective website features
- discover opportunities for improvement over those that the market is offering
- ensure your website design is distinct from the competition
So look around, and try to do better than the competition.
- What are the features you want your website to have?
There are no such things as standard features, so specify every single one that you want for your website in the beginning. There’s nothing worse than incorporating new features during the design stage – or worse, the development process!
Depending on the type of website you want, you can enumerate the features it should have. This list could include:
- a blog or news feed
- social media implementation
- a photo gallery
- a shopping cart
- email collection and email marketing capability
- online videos
- contact form, quote request or booking form
- a slider banner
- a mobile site
These may be added to your website wireframe. It is an excellent visual guide representing the skeletal framework of your website.
Designing a new website is like bringing your ideas to life, online. It should be carefully considered, options should be weighed and research should be done. Let these questions guide you, in order to provide you with a clear set of guidelines. That makes the website designing process much smoother and faster.
Once your website is ready to go live, do not forget to do a last and final check with our website launch checklist.
At Them You & Me, we delight in assisting the digital transformation for our clients. If you need to design your website or improve an existing one, give us a call.