There are specific website design pre-steps to use to create a great website you’ll be pleased to own. Working through these pre-steps will streamline the process which enhances the workflow.
Knowing your target market is a crucial first step. Pin this target down before you start the site design process. Having the profile of the targeted customers is especially relevant for formulating the website’s content. Being able to write to this targeted customer profile helps generate energy and tone to draw in customers. Following along, selecting the best images to reinforce products and services that touch a note with your audience adds value. Additionally, maintaining brand consistency throughout with personal touches in alignment with the customer profile is essential.
Website Design Pre-steps: Style
Browse the web and look at similar sites to draw design inspiration. You will get a feel for what you prefer and what you don’t like looking at other websites. Knowing both likes and dislikes is crucial. Take notes of these opinions to share with your developer. Making a file with visual references by using a snipping tool as a guide allows for rapidly sharing ideas. Later, the snipping tool or one like it assists in sending quick visual images through email for enhanced communication. Visual reinforcement especially aids in making sure you’re on the same page with your developer.
Next, another one of the website design pre-steps, focus on making entries for preferred color themes, font styles, and layouts. Pulling together these design elements makes communicating your end vision for the site smoother. Color schemes inspiration can come from many things, such as photos of landscapes or a color palette from a paint store. Google Fonts is an additional source of looking to select fonts. Consider ease of readability when looking for font styles. Having base design elements in advance helps to set the site’s tone, navigation, and flow for cohesive user experiences.
The thought placed in these early marketing elements for the site are building blocks to form a rapport with your target audience. Design elements will help match customer needs and capture their attention. Starting from the get-go to make the site’s user experience pleasing is a retailing asset. Customers see websites as a crucial first point of contact. Design the site in a way which lets customers quickly get to know, like and trust your company.
Website Design Pre-steps: Branding
Another one of the primary website design pre-steps to consider is company branding. Begin building concepts for the overall brand if a company hasn’t already set this. Gathering ideas for site branding and style while keeping an eye out for the target market niche relays your passion for working with these customers. The collected information will be a road-map to design work and is an important step to prepare and have ready for the developer. Use this step as a tool to ensure a consistent branding message throughout the entire site. Starting the site’s branding and tone from the beginning sets the development up for success. The visual elements can be carried through to related social media marketing later.
Website Design Pre-steps: Pages & Layout
Now, look into the need for pages (i.e., Home, About, Services, Products, Blog, Contact) to build out the marketing and messages. With an earlier understanding of the pages required along with the target audience to focus on assembling file items for the website’s content is typically quicker. Understanding the pages the site will contain allows for a double check for content needs. It’s easier to go through the specifications page by page.
The file of inspirational items is a storyboard file to share with a design team conveying your brand and style vision. This process applies to most design team work processes. Think of storyboards you may have seen which interior designers present to their clients. The boards include many small details that build out an overall statement. In the end, there may be one creative group helping create all the needs, or you may end up working with a graphic designer on branding, a video studio for site spotlight footage, and a website developer. In each of these cases, the materials pulled together before reaching out to vendors will save time and is relevant to each aspect.
Once you have these website design pre-steps completed, consult with a web developer. As a resource they can help direct you to excellent community partners for content text creation, images and videos for your website or they may have the staff to assist with all your needs. Website developers desire the production process to be an enjoyable experience. I hope you have found these website design pre-steps helpful. (First posted in June 2018 on Loveland Business Development Center’s website.) Reach out to me if you have any questions!