Designing a Web site can be a time consuming and often
complicated task. Even if you have a general idea or a vision
for your site, there are many details that will need your
attention before the project is completed. How in the world do
you keep up with it all?
We suggest that you start a journal that will contain your
thoughts, notes, and ideas for your Web site design. You can use
a standard manila file folder and loose-leaf paper or you may
want to create a folder on your computer and use a text editor
such as Microsoft Word for your pages. Label your folder "My Web
Site". You will need six pages. Label each page as follows:
1.Purpose and Goals 2.Target Audience 3.What I Like 4.What I
Don't Like 5.Site Map 6.Other Thoughts/Ideas
Or feel free to visit
http://www.mountevansdesigns.com/worksheets.html to download the
worksheets we use. (This is also the page we use when customers
hire us. Please look beyond the information and deposit
sections. The worksheet you need is starts with the question
"What is the purpose of your site?")
1. Purpose and Goals What is the purpose of your Web site? What
do you hope to achieve with it? What are your goals? Is your
purpose to attract a larger audience through search engines? Or
to provide information to your current customer base? Jot down
your thoughts on your "Purpose and Goals" worksheet. This will
help keep you focused on working towards and achieving the goals
you set for your Web site.
2. Target Audience Take some time to think about who your target
audience is. What is their age group? Their gender? Most
importantly, what sort of a Web design interface is going to
appeal to them?
What do you plan to say to them? Do you have a good idea of how
to communicate with your target customer through your Web site
copy? Consider what their problems are and how you plan to
offers solutions to those problems through your product or
service. Write down your thoughts on your "Target Audience"
3. What You Like Spend time browsing the Web. Take note of the
Web sites that appeal to you. What is it you like about them?
The layout? The colors? The navigation? The fonts?
Layout Think about how you would like your Web site layout to
look. Write down the URL's of several Web sites that have a
layout similar to what you would like to have on your Web site.
Add notes on what you like about the layout to your "What I
Navigation What kind of navigation links would you like for your
site? Buttons? Tabs? Text links? Drop down menu? A combination?
Again, take note of the URL's of several Web sites that have
navigation links that you like.
Colors Carefully choose your colors. We can't emphasize enough
how important the colors are. Keep your target audience in mind
- what would appeal to them? Remember that colors represent
emotions and perceptions. ·Elegant, business-like colors include
dark colors such as navy blue and burgundy. ·Fresh, healthy
colors include bright colors such as pale yellows, blues and
greens. ·Loud, high-impact colors include vibrant colors such as
red and bright shades of yellow, blue, orange and purple and
When you see a Web site that has a color or color scheme that
you would like for your site be sure to write down the URL on
your worksheet! We recommend choosing one color that will be
your primary color throughout the site and one or two
If you choose a background color other than white for your Web
site, make sure you choose a text color that is easily read on
that background color.
Fonts We recommend using an easy-to-read font for the majority
of your text, but fancy fonts can be used for headings and
subheadings. Take note of several Web sites that use fonts that
you like. 4. What You Don't Like It is also important that you
take notes on Web sites you don't like. What don't you like
about them? Are they visually overwhelming? Difficult to read?
Write down the URLs of several Web sites that you do not like
with a short explanation as to why you don't like them on your
"What I Don't Like" worksheet. 5. Site Map Decide on how many
pages you would like to start out with. More pages can be added
in the future as your company grows. Home Page - This is the
first page of your Web site and it is mandatory. It's also known
as the index page. It should clearly state what your Web site is
about. It sometimes includes a mission statement and contains
links to your "inner" pages. This page is your most valuable
page, as it is the front door to your Web site and will be the
first impression that your visitors will have of you. Inner
Pages - here is a listing of some of the most popular inner
pages. You can customize this list by adding to it or
subtracting from it to meet your needs: ·About Us Page - This is
a page about you and/or your company. It may include your
credentials or your resume. You may also what to include your
picture. ·Links/Resources Page - This page contains a listing of
links and resources that are relevant to your Web site and may
be of interest to your visitors. This is a good place to list
Web sites that you have affiliate programs with. ·Services/Rates
Page - This page contains a listing of your services or products
and can also list your rates and prices. ·Contact Us Page - This
is a page that contains information on how to contact you. Often
times it contains a form for your visitors to fill out. It may
also contain your address, phone number, fax number and email
address. ·Testimonials - This page may contain letters of
recommendation or testimonials that your clients have written
clear definition of how you intend to use information collected
on your site. ·Site Map - This is a page devoted to site
navigation and contains a detailed map of your Web site. ·Other
- Write down any thoughts you have for additional pages.
6. Other Thoughts/Ideas Take note of any other thoughts and
ideas that you have for your Web site. Do you want your
navigation buttons to change when the mouse rolls over them? Do
you want a copyright statement at the bottom of your pages
(recommended)? Do you want a Flash movie added to your Web site?
Message board? Polls? Any other special features? Add these to
your "Other Thoughts/Ideas" worksheet.
Once you have filled up your journal with your thoughts and
ideas, it is time to hand it over to your designer along with
the copy (text) for your pages.
Your designer will be most impressed with the information and
clear insight you're able to provide. You'll also save a lot of
time by clearing up questions regarding your design before they
ever crop up. Just like creating a plan for your business
strategy or marketing efforts, creating a plan for the creation
and design of your site is highly recommended.
About the author:
Viki is President of Mount Evans Designs offering creative,
affordable Web designs, logo creations and ebook covers. Visit
her site today at http://www.mountevansdesigns.com