There are some web designers who, after taking an outline brief from a client, will steam ahead and knock up what they think looks appealing, to them.
However, the objective of your website is to appeal to your audience; to target your customers and to speak to them in the language they are familiar with. Whether you like how it looks, or your website designer thinks it’s a work of art, are not the important things here.
Those web designers who take time to research your audience, industry and competition so they come up with something that actually sells for you and exceeds your competitors are the ones who’ll get you a site that works.
There is a well trodden path towards website design success, and it goes like this:
1. In-Depth Research
Getting to know your audience and finding out what appeals to them is the first step. There is ample research to review based on surveys conducted across various groups: age, gender, occupation, background, location to name a few. Depending on who you are selling to, your website needs to be created in such a way that it meets the needs and expectations of that group.
If your audience is an older age group for example, flashy graphics and podcasts will be ditched in favour of a clear, uncluttered screen with easy to click buttons and nothing taken for granted where technical ability and accessibility is concerned.
2. Setting and Understanding Objectives
What is it you want your website to do? Do you want it to act as a brochure site for offline referrals, or does it need to deliver search engine results? Are you looking to build a profile as an industry expert and drive visitors to subscribe to your blog or download your guides? Or do you want people to buy direct from your site? Perhaps you are looking for investors rather than customers? You might have a two or three stage plan that will evolve over a few years.
Whatever the aim, it will affect the design of your website. By understanding what you want to achieve, your web designer will create a site that ensures your goals are met and can be scaled to grow with your business if necessary.
The success of a website design project really does rest on the initial behind-the-scenes work. Taking time to conduct intelligent research and to set and understand objectives is a vital part of the design process. A website designer who dives straight in and produces something in super fast time is not conducive to a success story!