A lot of website design gets ruined before the designer has even started. If you have never designed a web page before it is easy to get lost, as it can be a long process.You need to make a plan. The first thing anyone considering making a web page should do is think: WHY and WHO?
Why are you designing a website site? You need to think why you want to design a website. What purpose will it serve? Websites should meet a need in your business or in the wider community. If a website has no purpose it is destined to fail.
There can be many reasons to design a website. A business many want to expand and attract online shoppers. An artist or photographer may like to showcase their work. A stay at home mum may like to start an online business. A charity may need a way to take donations. A school may want to provide information to the community. Whatever this need may be it should guide the design process.
Be sure to make a purpose of design statement. This can be a short couple of sentences which outline why the website is being designed and the needs it will meet. The statement should also look at who the website will cater to and how that will be done. For example: This website will be the online branch of our business, providing customers with access to information on services and products and a newsletter. Customers will be able to interact with the site via email, checkout, newsletter sign up and live chat facilities.
Understanding the purpose of a website will help with lead you to the correct website design decisions.
Who is the website designed for? Knowing whom you want to attract to your site is very important. Who are your biggest customers? Who would you like to be your biggest customers? You need to shape your site to be attractive to those you are most hoping to target. Think like the audience. Ask yourself if you were looking for a site like yours what would you expect to see on it. For example people looking for a wedding photographer expect to see examples of wedding photography on a wedding photographer's website. People using a banking site expect the site to be secure.
This is the time to stop thinking about your needs and to think about the audience. What is it that your audience might want or need to know about your business or the topic of your site? For example a website should include product and services information, prices, contact details, office opening hours and a company bio in the very least.
By highlighting these needs you can keep the design of your web page on track. With every design decision you should think does this help me achieve my purpose or does it meet my audiences needs.