One of the most important building blocks of any business is PLANNING. The bible puts it like this “write the vision and make it plain so that they may run and not faint”. A lot of times when building a vision of any sort we get a bright idea and we don’t enter into the writing stage where we sit down and strategically plan what our moves will be, how we will build a business, where is the money going to come from so on and so forth. Because of this, the result is, we go so far and everything crumbles.
The same is appropriate for building websites. Your first task that you’re tasked with is website planning. How am I going to develop this website? What are the customer’s needs? Does this client/person need an online store? Do they need a website that is easily modified? How can I make this website marketable from the start to finish? These are some of the questions to ask when building a website.
So for starters you want to establish a solid foundation. You want to find out the type of business you’re designing the website for. You also want to get a sense of the owners/company’s identity. So if this company already has branding (logo, colors, brochures, business cards, flyers, slogans and trademarks) established then you can grab the company’s sense of style, otherwise, you would need a way of measuring style conceptually. So typically in the past to assist with this type of planning I put together a form called a Design Specification Sheet which asks a myriad of question to help planning design wise. This will be passed out now.
In order to get a good understanding as to what a planned website should look like we’re going to evaluate websites. Look at the pros and the cons so that we can better grasp conceptually what a good foundation is in terms of building a website.
- Comparison of live websites
Websites have so many variables that contribute to whether they are made well or not. Some of the main concerns of a user (as it pertains to a website) are as follows:
Usability – Is the user able to maneuver through this website without complication? Can the user easily foresee what your company is selling or trying to promote? Can the user read your font and text (size)? Does your site load in reasonable time? Are the graphics you’re using optimized for the web (graphics have load times as well)?
Usability for the disabled –
Organization – Can the user find everything they need without things being buried on the website
Clean – Is your website distracting? Is the text hard to read on an awfully tiled background? Are the colors distracting and too bold.
Here’s a Comparison Meter. This can help your and your designer decide if your website may need some revamping.
- Usability for people with disabilities
Concept, content, & context
Loading time ____________________________________________________________________________________________
Color schemes ____________________________________________________________________________________________
Font choices ____________________________________________________________________________________________
Image choices ____________________________________________________________________________________________
Advertisements / pop-ups __________________________________________________________________________________
Mobile Friendly? ____________________________________________________________________________________________