Website Design Preparation, Planning and Considerations

A website is an international advertisement, therefore business website design preparation and planning requires a combination of many skills: business acumen, visualization, advertising knowledge, creativity, technical know how, etc. Hoping to be excused by critics, I would dare to compare the entire website design process with “wine making” which involves planning, collecting the choicest grapes, fermenting, maturing, bottling, advertising and selling the product. The inner satisfaction felt by a wine maker when he watches the wine mature before his eyes is similar to the pleasure felt by a web designer when he observes his project evolve.

“Preparation is half the game” in almost every area of life and thoroughly planning a website design is absolutely critical for its success. At Centaurhosting.com (Website Design Company India), I have often instructed new web designers to do MUCH more than just viewing competitor websites & template concepts before beginning web design. In this article we will study the actual important steps of website design preparation and planning that can result in an international standard, user-oriented business website.

1. (Warren Buffett time) The CEO perspective. Read the information / material of the company and interact with their CEO / marketing head to acquire an understanding of their business and website design requirements. Create what I call a “CEO sheet” and note down the information they give you. What does the company want to achieve through the website? Which products, services or ideas do they want to highlight? What about the company’s brand image and customer focus? Naturally a CEO would think about business, more business, yet more business. While understanding the company’s business perspective do not forget the customers who allow the business to exist. Your website design planning should focus on building an enduring enterprise through the website, not just rapid fortune.

2. (David Ogilvy time) The Advertising perspective. Mental gymnastics is not effortless but if you have a strong imagination you will be able to comprehend many focus areas of the company’s advertising department. If possible, meet the Advertising Head. If the company does not have a dedicated PR / advertising department try changing the questions in the CEO sheet from “what/which” category to “how”? Think HOW you can use the website design to increase awareness of most important products, how to create a good reputation, how to improve customer

Design Listicle perception etc.? Get information or think up punch lines that hit the customer, banners that cat

ch the eye, special offers etc. Write down all of this on the second website design preparation sheet – “Advertising Objectives Sheet”.

3. (Chanakya Strategy Time) R & D. Before any website design concepts begin to take shape in your mind, it is time to do thorough research. Analyze (not view) design and functionality of competitor websites to assess their weaknesses and strengths. Look at the navigation, organization, performance, customer impact etc. and record what they are doing well and how you can do it better. For noting these points, I suggest that you create your third website design planning sheet titled “Competition Analysis”. Create a table with features as rows and competitor names as headings. Then write down your views about each feature in the relevant boxes.

4. (Srinivasa Ramanujan style) Dream time: By now your should have some idea about the business objectives and advertising strategies that your website design will incorporate. You also know what your website is going to be competing against. To avoid “analysis paralysis”, take a short mental break and indulge in daydreaming. This is the special prerogative of website designers – being paid to day dream on the job 🙂 Allow what you have done so far to draw a rough image of the website in your mind. Imagination is the true measure of intellect. Dream languidly or even fantasize about your website design till you begin to feel the excitement that indicates you are getting close to completing your website design preparation. Compare your dream image with hard business facts and mould the website design mentally.

5. (Common Man Time) Be thy customer. This is perhaps the single most important factor in website design preparation and planning. Customers’ website experiences not only affect brand satisfaction but also directly translates into sales. Imagine that you visit the website that you have mentally visualized. Would you feel at home with its colors, usability, functionality, personalization, level of detail, aesthetics, speed and security?

By Haadi