Websites provide an online presence to both entrepreneurial individuals as well as companies.
Sometimes people are so eager to have a live website, that they just purchase a ready-made website template from a web development retail site and launch one as soon as possible. Companies are also tempted to choose these templates as there are a lot of options available, they are quick to design and are inexpensive. While there is nothing wrong with buying a template online, the design and outlook of it might not always be what you want or have in mind.
If you want a great looking website, you will have to put in a decent amount of effort with regards to its design. The good news is that it is not as difficult or technical as you think it may be, but you do need to know where to start.
In this article, we will guide you through seven steps you can take to create an awesome website design for your business.
1. Document your research
So you want to design a website right?
Well, before you start doing that you need to have a procedure in place which will help you keep track of every step of the web designing process. The best way to do this is to create a documentation system which will help you keep a record of your website building activities right from the very start.
Keeping track of these documents and research will be very handy, especially when you want to refer back to them when needed.
2. Understand your goals and priorities
Now that you are certain that your entire website designing operation will be well-documented, the next step would be to understand or prioritize your goals for designing a website.
There may be one or many reasons why you thought of creating a website for your company. One of the major reasons might be that you want to promote your products or services and even sell them through your website.
If you have a startup company, you may just want to spread some awareness about your business and reach your target audience. So ensure that you know exactly why you are building your site. It can help guide you towards building the perfect website.
3. Identify your target audience
Every company has a target audience who are the most interested in buying their products or services than others. So the important thing for you would be to understand who exactly are those people who would be in need of what you are selling through your website.
When you know what your customers want, it will be easier for you to direct your audience to the product or services pages of your website. Identifying your audience can help you stay focused on their needs so that you can use your products or services to give them what they want.
4. Brainstorm inspiration
There are many ways in which you can get inspiration for your website’s design or layout.
Personally, I always start every piece of research with an internet search, browsing “web design inspiration” on Pinterest or Google, and checking out any website award sites such as Hermes Creative Awards or Summit International Awards.
Another way to brainstorm inspiration is with your team, if you have one. Who else would know what your company is and what it stands for better than your very own colleagues? You can ask them suggestions for the logo design (or updates to your existing design) or what color theme would suit the website. It’s best to always involve your team in whatever decision you take regarding your website design so that you can get their honest feedback on it.
5. Competitor analysis
While designing a website, it would also make good sense to do a quick analysis of your competitor’s websites. This analysis could give you plenty of insights on the strategies used by the competition to gain more visitor traffic to their websites.
What’s more, you might even discover a few flaws in their designs and avoid making the same mistakes while designing your site. Through this analysis, you will also get a basic idea of what your potential target customers want from your website and how you can improve their experience when they come to your landing pages.
You can use a tool such as HubSpot to track and analyze your competition’s websites.
6. Wireframe mockups
This is a kind of more technical aspect of designing a website and an important one as well. Basically, wireframe mockups are stick-drawings of where you would like the main content on your site to go. You can easily change areas around, reorganizing the content to perfect the main gist of the site’s layout. You can create your own wireframe mockups, or you can enlist the help of a designer to complete this.
You can also use the mockups to test your website to see if users can engage with your website and complete tasks easily. The key is to make your website very simple for visitors to understand and use it. Mockups will show you whether your visitors will get the message that you want to tell them when they visit your website, or if they are getting distracted by the other elements of your site.
7. Commence designing!
Once you have completed the previous steps, it’s time to commence the actual website designing. Using all of the information received from your research, brainstorming, and analysis, you should be able to create a website that attracts audiences from all over the world.
You yourself can get started with the initial design work, if you know a bit of photoshop. You can take inspiration from the ideas you have received from your research, colleagues, as well as from a couple of templates available online. Or you can even take the help of some professionals in website design and development if you find yourself stuck at any stage.
So did you get the inspiration you needed to design or begin working on a design for your website? Well, if you did then we are glad we could help.
Please do let know in the comments about any important steps you think we missed, which help to create an awesome website design.