Your website is one of your most important online assets.
We have all heard the horror stories of business owners who have trusted their most important digital asset with a designer and ended up getting something they don’t like because it doesn’t resonate with them, truly reflect the essence of their brand or worse, they simply hate the design.
Finding the right designer to work with can be challenging.
There are certain questions you should always ask a Web Designer before you begin work with them. I wrote here about those – these questions will set you off on the right path.
Web Design is such a visual thing it can be difficult to explain exactly what you want with words. So here’s 5 ways you can help your Designer to understand your brand, your website goals and what it is you are looking for.
1. Know what you want to achieve with your website
This might sound obvious, but knowing that you want a new house is very different to clearly articulating what it is going to look like and how it is going to function.
You might think: “it should have 4 bedrooms, a home office, two living areas (so the kids can have their own space), a garage under the main roof, and located within 5 minutes of the best school in town and be easy to heat and cool, and look good”.
Unless you can actually articulate all of those things the architect or agent isn’t going to build or sell you the right house.
Even after that long list, it is not clear whether you want modern or historical, single story or multi-storey, stand-alone or duplex/townhouse. Do you want a big garden, room for a dog, a veggie patch with room for chooks or no garden at all?
Taking the time to consider and document your website goals – that is, what you want your website to do for your business, will help you to clarify exactly what it is you are hoping to achieve and help define what it will look like.
2. Find examples of sites you love/hate and why
While you’re thinking about the goals for your website, go and have a look at others’ websites. Both those of your competitors and those in completely different industries to yours.
Take note of the things you love or hate about their websites and write down WHY you love or hate them.
Is it the colours, the fonts, the layout, the flow, the words (copy), or the call to action?
What do you see that you think aligns with your brand and what doesn’t fit and why?
Is it the way the site works, do you have to click too many times to get what you want, does the menu structure help you find what you need?
3. Brand Style Guide
If you have a Brand Style Guide, developed by your Logo and business asset designer then that can be an important way to communicate how the website should look in terms of colours, logo use and potentially layout too.
Providing a copy to your Website Designer will help and save you having to answer questions which may already be addressed in your Brand Style Guide.
4. Choose images carefully
Choosing images that align with your brand, your brand style guide and that reflect the type of website you want can be fun and you should be warned that it can consume a lot of time.
Do you have specific images you want to draw inspiration from (I wrote here about how to find great free images). And if you can’t find anything there that resonates strongly with your brand and how you want your website to look, it can be a worthwhile investment to secure some paid stock images.
It is time well spent – mostly we look with our eyes at the images on a website well before we start actually reading the copy, so the images that you choose will portray your brand first. And you know you only have a very short time to make an impression.
5. Mood board
Mood boards are not just for interior renovations. They can be a great resource for your website too. Document the colours you want to see -start with your logo and show any complementary colours you want to use in conjunction with your logo, put down the fonts you like, are there any textures you like?
Add your best images all of these to your mood board and you will start to see how they look together. You may have the most divine font in mind, but if it doesn’t look great with your logo or colours then it may not be the time to use that one – save that for a personal project.
Along with knowing what you want the look of your website to be, there are some more important tips to help you get prepared here.
Sounds like a lot of prep work, and it is! You won’t build that dream house in a day, and a website is similar. A good web designer will, like a decent architect, walk you through the steps required and help you make the decisions needed to realise the full extent of your dream.
If you’d like to get started but it sounds like too much – get in touch – we make it easy and we help you along the way to untangle what is needed, create a website which not only looks great, but helps you achieve your marketing goals, build your business profits and convert lookers to bookers and browsers to buyers.
Use the big orange button below and let’s do this.
Found a spelling or grammatical error in this post? Then contact me as soon as possible and let me know. In return for your super proof reading, I will offer you a free 30-minute review of your digital presence and some fresh ideas you can try out for free.