For an overview of how to plan the perfect Website see Plan the Perfect Website. Once you have done this, you can follow the checklist below to ensure that you are ready to start the Design process (see Design the Perfect Website).
What’s the point?
Ensure you understand the website’s objective by defining the following:
· The purpose of the website
· The benefit to the user
· How it will benefit the client; its returned value.
· The website’s goals and how they will be achieved
· Its long term and short term goals
Who is the client?
It is vital to get to know the client and what their company is about
· What is the company’s brand? What does it stand for?
· What is the client’s key message to their customers?
· What is their market or sector?
· Who is their competition?
· What makes them unique and what distinguishes them from their competition?
· Are there established brand / marketing / design guidelines?
Who are you designing for?
It is important to define a ‘Target User Audience’ so you can understand the requirements of the website’s visitors. Ask yourself the following questions:
· What is the gender, age range, profession, income-bracket etc of the majority of users?
· Where are they? Global location, nationality, culture.
· What are their interests? What do they want to know?
· How do they want to receive information? Type of content.
· How well do they interact and respond to technology?
What are the ingredients?
It is always best to gather the content for a website during the planning process. You can then categorise and organise content ready to plan a page structure.
· Ensure copy is well written for the web
· Copy should have tone that is appropriate and engaging for the Target User Audience
· Multimedia (photos, videos, sound clips) should be optimised
· Downloads should not be too large. Compressed file sizes
· File formats need to be accessible to all users
Defining a Site Map
A site map is a diagram of the website’s structure. It shows all the pages on the website, their site level and page category. Other details can include:
· User Journey
· Types of page
· Navigational groupings
· Secure areas
A wireframe should be produced for each type of page, i.e. Homepage, content page, product page etc
· A wireframe defines the layout of the page
· It is a simple line drawing that shows how the information planned for each page should be displayed and organised
· Wireframes help with the consistency of a website
· Wireframes are the foundation of the user interface, the graphical design will skin its layout.
Using your completed Website Planning checklist
Once complete your Website Planning checklist will be used by the Website Designer in the next stage of creating your “Perfect Website”…Design the Perfect Website
This article is based on the “MintTwist-ology” for creating the “Perfect Website”. MintTwist is a London based Web Agency specialising in high quality Web Design and Development.