Creating a Website: Design!

Creating a Website

I have been told and I try my best to follow this principle: Less is More

Your audience is tired and busy, and design needs to quickly capture their attention. Get to your message in one sentence and from this let the design encapsulate your creed. Design includes your text, color, images, font, and page layout.

A great example of this: What I want from a Restaurant Website, What I get instead.

If the process of design were only so easy, following is an overview of the conversation that will take place with your designer, the content management options and the implementation process.

To best communicate your website needs to your designer, answer the following questions:

  1. Website goals: In one statement, state the single most important purpose of your website.
  2. List your secondary website goals. (Just as your organization has different departments to meet its goals, think about how your website can service different areas of your business or organization.)
  3. Who is your audience? List the information you need to provide on your website for each of these groups. (Map out all the different groups that will go to your website. What information do they care most about?)
  4. How do you want your audience to use the website? (Examples: Shopping, donations, download information, submit content, social networking, etc)
  5. What services can you provide online that will make your organization more efficient? (Example: We want visitors to … Ways that we can accomplish this include…
  6. What do you think will motivate your users to take the actions listed in number 5?
  7. How will you measure the success of your new site? (Examples: Sales, enhanced company efficiencies, greater participation frequency of visits etc)
  8. If you already have a website, what are areas of your current site that are working and not working and why? (List what is missing on your current website that you need added or modified.)
  9. List websites that deliver content that most matches your organization’s services. (Think about how these sites are successful or not successful)
  10. List websites that visually capture the look and feel that you would like to create for your organization.
  11. List websites that visually you do not like and describe why.

Website Software (Web Publishing Tools):

Based on how you expect to use your website, a wide array of software packages are available.

Some options include:

  • Blogs: (Web Log) Businesses use blogs for marketing, branding and public relations. Individuals use blogs to share thoughts with friends and family. Blogs are a simple and inexpensive solution to getting your own media and voice online. And, if you don’t have a website and not sure how you want to invest in this resource yet, blogs are a great inexpensive starting place.
  • Community and Content Management Systems: People come to websites for content and there are many managment systems to help you with this task. And, website content can flourish with user driven content. There is no reason not to have both using many of the avaialble community software packages that come bundled with calendar, forum, galleris, blogging components and much more. There is a wide-variety of softare to choose from Simple Machines Forum, InvisionPower, Drupal, and much more.
  • Online Sales (Ecommerce): Start selling amd collecting money online.

Please contact us if would like to learn about any of the tools currently available for website developement.

Implementation Process:

These steps can include

  1. create a flowchart and documention of your website and its naviagation and content.
  2. design mock pages of the home page and main content areas. For SEO friendly websites the more text the better and should be considered during this phase.
  3. cut up the final approved mockups for the web, first as html and/or to “skin” for the software application you have selected.
  4. integrate and/or customize software modules into the design or “skin”.
  5. test on all browsers.

Website Maintenance:

Websites require that content is kept current, users and visitors are contacted, marketing is conducted both offline and online, and the software is kept up-to-date.

Developing a website is a very exciting and rewarding process. To get started developing your website, contact us.

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