Starting a Web Design Project 101

September 3, 2015

Everyone knows that having a website is critical to any business venture. No matter what niche a business is in, a website is an opportunity to reach the masses of potential visitors all across the globe.

But how the website is designed plays a key role in how successful it will be in being found by web crawlers, and how good it is at engaging readers and converting them into real customers.

Here are a few pointers when it comes to designing a website for your clients.

Gather All Necessary Info

Before you start your site, make sure that you collect all the pertinent data from your client. What is your client’s objective and goal? What is their target audience? Is there any content that will eventually need to be added some time in the future?

Even after these questions have been answered, be sure to determine what your deadline is, what their budget is, and come to an agreement about who retains ownership and rights over the website.

Research and Plan Thoroughly

After your client tells you who their target audience is, go a step further to find out exactly what this audience needs, and what they’re looking for. Find out a little more details about them, such as their age, income range, gender, demographic location, and socioeconomic status. Create widgets and virtual personas to help you discover such intricate details about the target audience.

This information can help you hone in on the overall design of the website to appease to what the target audience is looking for. And don’t overlook the importance of an easy navigation system – you want the users to be able to find exactly what they’re looking for without having to click on multiple links and tabs just to get there.

Start Designing

Come up with a rough layout of what the site should look like and how it should be structured. Make sure this layout includes:

• Logos
• Contact info
• Content
• Headers/subheaders
• Social media sharing buttons
• Search field
• Navigation systems
• Footer

Bring this layout to your client for review, and make any changes as necessary. Make sure you get final approval before the site goes live, and before you go any further with the design. And don’t code until all major changes have been made.

Make use of a design software program to help you accurately place your visual elements on the website. A good tip to remember is that you’ll get 35 percent more traffic using dark colour schemes compared to lighter ones! And make sure there is no clutter, and that the typeface is easily read at multiple resolutions.

Develop the Site

Consider which applications you’d like to use, such as a Content Management System (CMS) or an application framework. Add your features accordingly, such as a contact form, live chat option, or a shopping cart.

Test and Launch the Website

After you’ve gone through the above steps, you’re ready to test and launch the site. First, run diagnostic tests to make sure there are no broken links, typos, and other bugs. And make sure the site is compatible across all web browsers.

You’re now ready to pass off the website onto your client!

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