Every single website is unique. They each have their own purpose and goals. But there are some common things that will drive the design, and how it functions. If you want your site to be successful, then these key things should come first in the design process.
Any good developer will sit down and try to learn everything they can about the goals you have for your website. They will also try to learn about your clients. You can make the design process go much smoother by thinking about these key things in advance.
Key #1: Niche
It is important that you know your target market. Is your target market a professional business or fun-loving family? Think about those that you are trying to reach. And what you want them to do. The key to a good design is knowing who you intend to serve and building around them.
Write down a list of items that would be important to your clients. Think about how your clients tend to interact with the web. Ask yourself if the clients you want to attract prefer mobile devices and plan for their needs.
Key #2: Content
As you work the layout of the site to meet the needs of your client, so should your also work your content. If your ideal client is someone that does not know much about your topic, you should keep it simple. Have content that can guide and direct them. Or if you are targeting a more advanced audience then your content should also reflect that.
Remember that photos are part of the content on your website. While photos of the inside of your office can be nice, they should not be the focus of the site. Your photographic content should reflect the product or service you are offering. Or better yet, the idea and concept of what your offering will give the client.
Key #3: Colors
Color can drive or hinder sales. They can take a site from feeling clean and minimalist to cluttered in a heartbeat. Certain colors will draw the eyes. And in turn, the eyes will pair those colors with moods and feelings. Think about the feelings you want your clients to feel when browsing your site. Try to convey that emotion in a color set.
It is also important that the colors you choose all mesh together. A site built in light colors and greys may not do very well with a bold color choice on the menu bar. But, a site looking to stand out and create a statement should choose more bright and playful colors.
Key #4: Layout & Responsiveness
Coming back to how your client prefers to interact with sites, think about layouts. Certain layouts can make a site feel cluttered, while others give it an open feel. A layout can make the site different from all the other sites in your same niche or area.
Layouts involve the location of navigation and sidebars. It controls how wide or narrow the content can be. Also, the layout is important to the ability to adapt to any screen or device. Responsive design has become all the rage, but to most, it is only a buzz word. The goal of responsive sites should be to serve your client. If they use a mobile device more often, then a responsive design should be of high importance. Yet a training website with full-size videos viewed on desktop computers might not need to adapt.
Key #5: Style
The style is not only the look of the site. Style should reflect both the client and site owner. If your site comes across as formal, but you meet clients in jeans and a t-shirt, then your site is giving the wrong image. Your site should reflect you. Most people have an ideal client that is like them. Make your site reflect your style to get the right clients.
Think about what you like and dislike. Have those thoughts show on your website. If you are fun loving, make your site feel that way. Be open and honest. There is nothing worse than meeting a client and both of you have opposite expectations. It is a waste of time for everyone.
Website design has many influential factors. But some are more important than others. Think about these 5 design points while you have your new website designed. They will help you to be on the right track the first time. You will be happier with the results and may end up saving some cash in the process.