What to Consider When Designing a Website

Image sourced from Foxypar4 on Flickr

When it is time for a new website or a redesign there are a lot of factors you need to consider, and they might not be the factors you would first think.

Your web presence is like a tree, and your website is the roots and the trunk of that tree. Without the roots and the trunk I think we can safely say that there is no tree. Here is a short list of things you need to consider when it comes to designing or redesigning a website, listed in order of priority:

  • Strategy & Goals
  • UX/Usability
  • Design
  • Behind The Hood Stuff

Over the next month I will be going through each of these points and writing a short article around them detailing what you need to consider.

So first and foremost is strategy and goals. What are you trying to achieve with your web presence? How does your website support your business objectives? These are both really important questions that you need to be thinking about when planning a web design project.

I think the sad truth is that most web agencies won’t be considering your strategy and goals too much, so it’s really important you have a really good idea of what you want.

I think we can really boil things down to two really important questions. Who are your audience and what message are you trying to get across to them? When it comes to your website, everything you do needs to get those messages across and/or encourage a specific action that supports your goals.

Try to keep things simple and have a singular purpose for each page. Make it really clear what you want people to do next, and make it really easy for them to do it (we will talk more about this next week when we cover UX).

There is a big problem I wanted to address here however:
There are a ton of web design companies out there that produce beautiful websites and employ great designers, but these designers often have little idea about UX and Usability.

Don’t get me wrong, design is still very important when it comes to websites, but I think it can be overrated. Think about it: How often has an ugly website stopped you from taking an action it was designed to make you take? How many times have you not taken an action because you simply couldn’t figure out what to do or were not willing to spend the time working it out in the first place?

I can think of tons of occasions where I have stopped viewing a website because it wasn’t clear what I was supposed to do when I got there. Attention spans are short online, we are all subjected to information overload so you need to stand out and be clear to succeed on the web.

In conclusion you need to be making sure your website supports your business objectives, and you need to make things clear and easy for your users. To find out more about the latter, come along next week.