When starting a new business venture it’s best to know as much as you can about what you want to do. Researching your audience and creating goals are two of the biggest things you will need to be successful and move forward. Much of this information that you collect is exactly what you will need to know to launch a website for your new venture.
The more prepared you are the faster things can move but don’t give too many restrictions or you may be disappointed with the boring site you receive. Creativity is an amazing gift and given the right setting a creative web designer can create an enticing masterpiece to draw in your audience and create the outcome you are looking for.
Below are 10 bits of information that you will learn during your business research that will be useful to a web designer when creating your perfect first time web site.
- What are the goals for your site?
A web designer needs to know the main purpose of your site. Is it to make sales and if so of what? Your web designer will be able to plan in shopping carts and help you with the page progression in sales or your lists of services and the best set up to present your information and videos.
The goal for your site will help dictate ideas on layout, site map, feel, and what extras are needed such as types of file storage and what shopping cart to use.
- The site content
If you already have content ready or at least the idea of what content will be included then the proper space and flow can be plotted with the design, leaving less need for changes later on. If you know you have a lot of pictures and would like a slideshow or a portfolio page those are good things to share when starting the project.
The more you know about what you need the better the designer can deliver.
- Your target audience
Knowing your target audience is part of creating your offering but it’s also part of knowing how to market to and reach your potential customers. You should know what sort of content your audience is looking for and how they wish to consume it (ie picture, video, audio, written). Knowing your audience will help you decide if you need a blog, a youtube channel, and what social media to use. It will also help your designer know how to layout your site and what social sites to link include.
- Budget restrictions
When hiring anyone whether it be a new employee or contracting out you should know what your ideal budget is and what your maximum budget is incase anything goes wrong or incase something unforeseen comes up (or incase you change your mind on something). Knowing your budget before starting a new and potentially large project will save on stress throughout the process and help guide your decisions in what you can and cannot have on your site.
Your budget also guides your designer as they explore all the options in making your site come to life.
- Who will be dealing directly with the web designer?
Before hiring any contractors you should know who will be dealing with questions, concerns and changes. It’s best to have one person who is fully knowledgeable about the project available for the designer so there is no lost time in phone tag and permissions. When a web designer has to wait days to move forward it is your project on hold and your deadlines at risk.
- Your launch date
You may have already picked a significant launch date which would help you and your web designer to set milestones but if you are more laid back you may pick a launch date based on the expected completion of the site.
- Site/Brand colours
Although some web design companies offer other services that could help you with branding and colour selection at least having an idea of the feel you want to evoke and the tone you want to set will help to narrow the colour spectrum.
If you already know what colours you want and have your branding all set remember that colours you choose in print may not translate perfectly to web design so be open to slight colour variations.
- Have you purchased the domain and who is your host
When making the rounds looking for a web designer you can ask them what host they recommend and where you should buy your domain. Buying your domain before starting the project is a great investment to secure your chosen url. Once you’ve picked your web designer you both can decide on the best hosting options.
- Will there be any other contractors the design process is dependent on?
If you are also using a graphic designer for visual elements, a photographer, a copywriter or any other contractor to help build your site you should make sure you get this all in order. Having some of these elements done prior to site building could save time in the over all process. You may also be lucky enough to find a great company that offers many forms of assistance rather than just web design.
10. Having done your competition research what do you like and not like about websites you’ve seen?
When working on your start-up you will have looked at your competition. Their websites, their social media accounts, their alexa ranking and other metrics, write down what you like and don’t like. Although some of that info is just for you the web design likes and dislikes will help your designer know where to start and what to avoid. Having some idea of what you want helps to get you the site you love and gives the designer some direction.
These are just 10 things you should know to make the web design process easier but there is a lot more to running a business. It can’t hurt to learn the basic terminology used in web design to help communication run smoothly and to ensure what you want is being done. I have heard it said that a business owner should know every job that is needed to run the business before hiring out to complete it.
Are there steps you feel are important to the web design process that I haven’t covered? Do you do a full and detailed creative brief or like to leave instructions as basic as possible? Would love to hear how you work!