Questions to Ask Yourself Before Designing a Website
If you have decided to design your own website, or even if you will be hiring someone to do it for you, there are some crucial things to consider before proceeding. Taking the time to answer a few simple questions can help give you some valuable insights and direct your efforts in the most productive direction. Read on for some important considerations.
The first thing you want to determine is the actual goal of your website. If it is just for your own personal use, then it will be a quite different design and appearance than if the purpose is to conduct business. It can be tempting to think that a business site can be just as casual and quirky as one you would build for your own pleasure; this could be a big mistake. Most users already have sites they go to for fun and are likely to be coming to yours for a specific reason – hopefully to buy what you have to sell. Therefore, keep things professional, and make sure the site is easy to use.
Decide ahead of time whether minors will be coming to your site and proceed accordingly. You may want to use a different tone of voice if your clients could include children. This could also make a difference in the overall design features you use, as well. Look at your product and ask yourself honestly who you want to appeal to, then explore site design features that will maximize your potential for reaching your goals.
Think ahead to determine what kind of site visitors you are likely to attract. In particular, you want to keep in mind the differences between computer screens and mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. There is a very big difference in web design for these devices, so plan for this according to your perceived audience. Avoid clutter, animation and excessive graphics if your demographics include mobile users. As a general rule, you can assume that young users age 30 and below will use at least some form of mobile device for accessing the Internet. In many cases, this will be the only way they log in, search and purchase online, so make sure your site design is compatible with mobile devices.
Ask yourself how often you plan to update the content on your site. If the basic information will not be changing often, you will likely choose a far different layout than if your product or services change frequently, requiring updates and more space. Make this decision before you begin designing your pages or choosing a layout.
Think about whether you will need to market your site and if you will be dependent on SEO to attract new business. If this is the case, you will need to pay attention to how your pages are set up and what kind of format you use for writing content. Key words become very important if you will be heavily marketing your website.
These are basic questions that any web designer will benefit from asking prior to building a new website. Save yourself some time, energy and money by considering them now.