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Planning for your web site design

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  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2006
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Planning for your web site design


Some of the web sites are either design to "overkill", or it is just plain too dull. It is excited to build your own web site, and get it online initially. The adrenaline rush, excitement etc. But you need to plan what is your web site all about.
Below are some guides, if you have other suggestion, please add it in this post too:

(a) Objective/ goal
What are you trying to achieve? Are you selling a product online, or just a personal web site? Building a website is not a one step process, it need to be updated and change according to the needs and trends of the market. If you want the visitors to come back to your site regularly, you'll need to update your page. Havng a mailing list is a good idea to let the visitors know the changes on your web site, but no spamming.


(b) Target audience
This where you anticipate which visitors will come to your site. If your site offers a service, make sure your site descibe it well. Offers a location map to your office, feedback form, FAQ page etc. If you have a site that targets the younger audience, it would be good to include some web templates that is modern, a product that the younger generation want etc.

If your site sells a product, offer a shopping cart and an online credit card processing form. It is a hassle at the end that the visitor need to bank in the money via bank just to purchase a product. I know that some of you are trying to sae on the processing fees, but believeme, it is not worth it. Try PayPal or other credit card merchants that charges low fees.

Lastly, make sure your site is fast to load, don't include too much Flash animation and graphics. Not all the visitors have a fast Internet connection. Too much pop up ads is certainly a no-no.

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  #2  
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 12
The first thing I do is write down the key info points I want to appear on the home page. I then use pencil and paper to sketch out how I'd like the page to look and where to place the information logically and for best effect. Once I've got a plan that I'm happy with on paper, I put that design on the screen.

  #3  
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11
Atthescreen; I do the same with the customers I work with. I sketch it by hand.

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  #4  
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Web Hosting Master Disaster
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Under Your Skin
Posts: 5,683
I design on paper first as well... that is funny....

Some additional points:

1) Know your color wheel. Learn colors and how they relate to your business. No need in trying to be an artist, but taking an hour to learn about colors can help. Also, how colors look on different monitors...

2) Navigation.... make your navigation scheme easy to understand... make it consistent throughout your site.

3) If you sell goods, ensure you have: TOS, Privacy statement (how you will use emails/personal info), shipping statement (how you will ship/when/cost).

4) On that note, make your shipping scheme easy as possible. Better yet, have something setup so your customer can see how much shipping will cost without filling out an entire address…. Maybe only use the zip code or have flat-rate shipping.

5) Have a recommended products page… while your site should steer customers to your flagship product, the recommended products page should up sell additional products to them….

6) Have an about us page

7) Have a site map.

8) I could go on… lol…

Keep your homepage updated....

have a newsletter (for business, quarterly works or bi-monthly... don't be like one business I know and send one out twice a month... that is stupid).

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  #5  
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: INDIA
Posts: 19
Hello Everyone ..

The greatest problems that web designers face now is the screen resolutions.
Earlier the best sites were desinged for 800 X 600 now you have 1024 x and above.

For the New OS Vista Microsoft is recommending a 19" wide monitor ..

How do you thaink you will resolve the issue of sites apparing on different screen resolutions ?

Any idea .. and this problem will grow as we get new screen resolutions for your PC screen

-------------------------------
T R U S T D N S

  #6  
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: us
Posts: 5
1024 resolution

about a year ago, i change my site resolution to 900px from 798. I my stats, i kept seeing an increased on 768x1024 users. now its going up agian to 1280x1024 i bet this is due to people getting bigger monitors and less expensive.

  #7  
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by hekwu
I design on paper first as well... that is funny....

Some additional points:

1) Know your color wheel. Learn colors and how they relate to your business. No need in trying to be an artist, but taking an hour to learn about colors can help. Also, how colors look on different monitors...

2) Navigation.... make your navigation scheme easy to understand... make it consistent throughout your site.

3) If you sell goods, ensure you have: TOS, Privacy statement (how you will use emails/personal info), shipping statement (how you will ship/when/cost).

4) On that note, make your shipping scheme easy as possible. Better yet, have something setup so your customer can see how much shipping will cost without filling out an entire address…. Maybe only use the zip code or have flat-rate shipping.

5) Have a recommended products page… while your site should steer customers to your flagship product, the recommended products page should up sell additional products to them….

6) Have an about us page

7) Have a site map.

8) I could go on… lol…

Keep your homepage updated....

have a newsletter (for business, quarterly works or bi-monthly... don't be like one business I know and send one out twice a month... that is stupid).
these are very good tips especially the one about knowing your colors, it's always good to have colors on your website that work well with each other

  #8  
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Web Hosting Master Disaster
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Under Your Skin
Posts: 5,683
I just recommended someone in another post to get a color wheel... about three minutes ago....

I also start on paper and put the layout on a wall... with all pages in the direction I would *like* for the customer to take.

One thing I suggest is not having too much text... or if you are going to have a lot of text, put the main points upfront -- the important stuff to make them stay and read further, if they want. A bunch of crap that looks "busy" with text will not get read.

Also, looking at the focus of site... does the readers eyes go to your text or do you place a busy-looking animated gif/flash to the left and throw them off....

Like the others recommend, keep things simple! Don't have too many variations of the same thing... simple shipping... simple navigation... simple bullets...

I also like having a FAQ page for those odd questions (plus a place to put a lot of text). An about us page is almost a requirement -- people actually read those since they want to know who they are doing business with... spend time there to put your message out... who you are and that you can be trusted. On that note, on the purchase page, ensure you tell them their info will be ecrypted and safe... have a privacy notice page... tell them you don't sell or trade data (emails/other info with other companies).

Main pages (IMO) = home (first page they see), products, faq, about us, purchase, contact, and privacy. Other pages... site map (keep it updated), links page (to your other sites lol), etc, etc....

Sure I missed a bunch...

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  #9  
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9
These are great tips guys I usually just plan it out on paper but i'm going to try some of these steps

  #10  
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 10
Yeah, I use paper drawings as well to visualize the structure of the layout more. It helps keep flow in the design and gives it the planned out look that it should have. Good structure can be the difference between a bad and a good start, so I feel its really essential to get it down right away rather than find yourself redoing things later to make it structurally sound.

  #11  
Old
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 21
Smile Thanks

Thoser are great tips, it's will help me a lot.

  #12  
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New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 0
Great points mentioned here. The first site that I ever designed was my own and I can certianly use some of these points to improve it. Please feel free to give me suggestions.

  #13  
Old
WHT Addict
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostu View Post
Yeah, I use paper drawings as well to visualize the structure of the layout more. It helps keep flow in the design and gives it the planned out look that it should have. Good structure can be the difference between a bad and a good start, so I feel its really essential to get it down right away rather than find yourself redoing things later to make it structurally sound.
Paper drawings are an excellent tool to plan a design structure. Some people don't believe it but it really makes a difference when you have your clear structure in front of your eyes and not only in your mind before you start any web work.
This is my recommendation too.

  #14  
Old
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostu View Post
Yeah, I use paper drawings as well to visualize the structure of the layout more. It helps keep flow in the design and gives it the planned out look that it should have. Good structure can be the difference between a bad and a good start, so I feel its really essential to get it down right away rather than find yourself redoing things later to make it structurally sound.
Paper drawings are an excellent tool to plan a design structure. Some people don't believe it but it really makes a difference when you have your clear structure in front of your eyes and not only in your mind before you start any web work.

This is my recommendation too.

  #15  
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 12
Ease of naviation is also very important.

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