Every web design project requires proper planning.
Whether you’re a business professional in the market for a website, or a web designer getting ready to embark upon a new web design adventure, it’s important to have a clear vision of what you’re setting out to accomplish before diving in.
In addition to knowing your target audience and the main purpose of your site, there are other topics of discussion that can help shape the layout of your site.
So in order, to make your website project a success, make sure you consider—and are ready to answer—our list of top 10 web design questions.
1. What does your business do?
In order for a web designer to create the look and feel that speaks to your business, they need a clear understanding of what your business does.
Provide your designer with a mission statement and/or brief overview of your business. A list of adjectives that describe your business can be super helpful in communicating the overall feel you’re looking to achieve with your site (playful, serious, cutting-edge, witty, matter-of-fact, etc.).
Company brochures or any type of literature can be helpful to pass along as well.
2. What are the top 3-5 products or services your business provides?
A user should understand what your company is about as soon as they land on your site.
Work up a summary of your products or services so they can be highlighted and presented clearly on the home page. Think about the most important message you’re looking to convey.
Provide your designer with photos of your products or services if possible.
3. Who is your target audience?
Define your target market before deciding on a specific design for your site.
A younger audience may gravitate towards a modern, minimalistic design approach, while a more distinguished user base may prefer a traditional look.
In addition to age range, some other considerations are gender, buying behaviors, values and geographical location.
4. What are your selling points?
Think about what sets you apart from the competition and then be sure to highlight those points.
Are your products or services less expensive than your competitors’? Do you have more industry experience? Do you offer 24/7 customer service? You can also package your products or services to make a purchase more appealing.
5. Who are your competitors?
Take the time to research your biggest competitors and make note of what you like and dislike about their web sites.
Sometimes you can take your competitor’s negative and turn it into your positive.
You may also be able to glean some ideas that you can rework for your own site.
6. What is the purpose of your website?
Whether you plan to sell your products or services, generate leads for your business or simply provide information to potential customers, make sure you make your designer aware of what you’re trying to accomplish.
Keep your site purpose top-of-mind throughout the web design process and you’re more likely to be pleased with the final product.
7. What are your favorite / least favorite sites and why?
If you have trouble putting into words the type of design you are looking for, provide your designer with some site examples.
Web designers are visual people, so oftentimes this is the best way to summarize your thoughts on how your site should look, as well as design elements to avoid.
8. Do you have a logo, artwork or other collateral?
Provide your designer with any logos, images or other assets you may have.
Be clear about the elements you do and do not want to include on your site. This will help your designer get a feel for your brand image, colors, and the overall creative direction you want to go with your site.
9. Do you have content?
Solid, well-written content for your site is very important – not only to convey your message clearly, but also to rank well with the search engines.
If you have any collateral that you can share with your designer, by all means, please do so! Most designers have a knack for pulling important content from already-existing marketing pieces.
If you’re starting from scratch, it may be worth your while to hire a copywriter.
10. What functionality does your website need to have?
While a simple contact form may suffice for some businesses, others may want to sell products, have a store locator or price comparison chart to explain their products/services.
Do you need an e-commerce site, photo gallery, blog or subscription form?
These are features that take extra time to develop so it’s best to mention them sooner rather than later.
While this list may not be exhaustive, the bottom line is that upfront communication with your web designer is the key to a successful project.
Being prepared to address these questions will help get the ball rolling, streamline the development process and in turn, get your website headed in the right direction.