It’s getting to that time when you are looking for a brand new sparkly website. Your last one is becoming outdated and slow in the modern world and you want to have something new for your clients to enjoy, and also your competitors to fear. You find a developer (Uncoated Website Design - had to get that in there!) and you say, “Let’s make an amazing site!” Your developer whips out their notepad and this is where you realise you don’t have a fully fleshed out idea. Uh Oh...
Not knowing exactly what you want is absolutely fine, in fact, it's expected, that's what designers are here to help with. However, there’s a lot more to consider when building a site, other than "It looks good". While that’s an important factor, there’s a lot more to consider before any design work can even begin.
WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR SITE TO DO?
It sounds obvious, but it’s commonly overlooked. There’s a lot that can be done when making a website to change the focus of where you want your visitors to go when they land on your home page. Want more sales? Then guide the customer to view and even buy your products. Maybe you don't sell anything online so want to use it more for marketing? A strong brand image should be portrayed in this case so it enters the visitors mind.
Making sure you know exactly what you want to get from your website will help your designer achieve that for you and know exactly where to place focus. This will save you from having a fantastic looking website that doesn't function how you want it to.
As well as the website being easy to navigate, the text on it should be too. Patience is something that we don’t have a lot of in this day and age, so if your text is bland and long it simply won't get read. It’s important that no matter how much content you have, it’s easily digestible. This can be achieved in many different ways:
- Subheadings to break up large blocks of text
- Bullet point lists (such as these)
- Cutting out any unnecessary information
- There’s a lot more to it than these simple points, but they’ll get you on the right track.
PROVIDE YOUR BRAND GUIDELINES
It’s all well and good asking a developer to design you a website, but without pre-defined brand guidelines, it can be hard to get the tone right. Brand guidelines will ensure that your website enforces the same brand ideology as the rest of your business.
HAVE GREAT IMAGERY
A picture says a thousand words. The average adult in England reads at a rate of about 300 words per minute, which means it’ll take 3 minutes and 20 seconds to read a thousand words. When a user lands on a web page they normally make their mind up on if they're hanging around within 8 seconds! That’s enough time to read 40 words. If you want to get the most of a new website, be prepared with amazing imagery for each of the pages you want, it’ll get you far more noticed.
Getting a new website takes a lot more thought than waking up and just deciding you want one. Sure, you could do that, but then the website will not be as you thought and it might not work as you expected.
Spend a few minutes coming up with website ideas so when you get in contact with the developer it's ready in your head to discuss, this will speed everything up.