A website is a window to the company. When a consumer looks for a product or service, the first thing he does is use a search engine to find a company that meets his needs. His next move is to glimpse through the various websites and zero in on the one that stands out. That website had better be yours if you want your business to be prominent too.
Whether you are updating an existing site or working on a new one, you have to lay out a plan for the entire site. The web designer needs to have a clear idea about your expectations. A comprehensible design brief saves you time and money, and avoids constant revision for the designer. Here are some of the key elements to watch out for.
Make sure your requirements are penned precisely. Do not ramble on in an effort to be clear. You can elaborate on your requirements during the debriefing. A long explanation could just end up confusing the designer while referring to your specifications.
Not just pretty but accessible
It is more important for your website to be user friendly rather than pretty. So pay a great deal of attention to this aspect. Most users do not look beyond the home page if they cannot find what they are looking for.
It’s not just about you
Now keep in mind that your employees will also be using the website. So, hold an open discussion where everyone can chip in with what they want out of the website.
For example, your support staff may require FAQ pages to avoid redundant questions via email. Get an employee or a team to assemble these requirements. Do not forget to include information about your target audience, so that the designer can pitch in with ideas to make the website appealing to them.
Highlight your goals
Your main purpose behind creating or updating the website has to be clear. This helps the designer focus more on those pages. For instance, if your aim is to encourage newsletter subscription, he can create direct links from each page to the subscription page.
Maintenance and technical needs
If you are building a new website, you have to assign an employee or a team for its maintenance. If you do not have the manpower or skills for it, consider using the web designer’s services for the same. Do not forget to mention the kind of software and browsers that your website should support.
Information about your competition
It is always a good idea to provide a few details about your competition and encourage your web designer to check out their web pages – he might be able to spot some shortcomings there that you can avoid in yours.
With a focused approach, you are sure to have a better idea of what your business needs. Designing a successful web site is all about drawing attention to those needs.