How to design a website in 3 steps
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At last! An effective way of planning and designing your website without getting bogged down in organising your content

Web design doesn't have to be difficult.

With a few simple tips and guidelines, you can put together a plan that outlines everything you need to get the graphics right and can be implemented using your content management system to give you a website that does what it was designed to do.

There are 3 steps to designing a website:

1) Purpose:

Marketing strategies:
What are you trying to communicate to who?

Functionality:
What does it do?

Results:
What are the KPI's and how are you going to measure them?

How to get the purpose right

  1. Write down your USP and turn it into a small strapline.
    - Not know your USP? - go to strategy builder. Or try our USP builder here
  2. Know what kind of website you want.
    - Not know what you want? - go to know your purpose.
  3. Know your quality issues and what indicators you can measure to see improvements.
    -Not know your quality issues? - go to marketing analysis, then measure for success.

Only when you have identified the purpose, described it in fine detail, defined the results you are expecting and outlined exactly how you intend to measure its success, can you start working on your marketing strategies and then proceed to step 2.

2) Graphic Design:

Layout:
What are your information islands?

Look & feel
What styles and moods are you trying to create?

Shape & colours
What preferences do you have? Any examples of likes & dislikes?

How to get the graphic design right

  1. Use wire-framing techniques to decide on the layout
    - Not know about wire-framing? - go to Using Wire-framing techniques for your website layout.
  2. Experiment with proportions, margins and white-space to get the look & feel right.
    - Not know how to set styles and moods? - go to Look & Feel.
  3. Know your colour options and graphic effects
    - Not know how use colours? - go to Shape & Colour effects for graphic design.

Only when you have drawn the wire-frame layouts for each page type, know exactly what is going where, specified the margins and the white-space, and defined the colours and gradated areas, can you start working on your graphic design and then proceed to step 3.

3) Navigation:

Interaction:
What forms / polls / shopping baskets are included?

Content
What articles & products are included?

Information Architecture:
What connects and organises your content?

How to create effective navigation

  1. Know what interactive areas are required and ensure their availability.
    - Not know what elements you want? - go to Interactive elements for websites.
  2. Know what content is needed and how to write it
    - Not know how to write content? - go to Writing Content.
  3. Know what information structures are needed
    - Not know about information architecture? - go to Information Architecture.

Only when you have outlined the interactive elements of your website, listed all the content that needs to be written, classified it and drawn up a menu and other methods of navigation, and defined paths of information to guide your readers, can you finally begin to develop your website and build it into the ultimate marketing tool you need it to be.