Here are a few suggestions to help get
Surf the Internet
Take a look at competitor web
sites. Was information easy to find or did you run around
in circles. Were photos slow to load? Make a note of
web sites that you particularly like and dislike and
bookmark them. Show these to your designer. From a designers
point of view, knowing what a client likes can save a
lot of time and is a great help in stimulating discussion
and preventing misunderstandings.
While you are on the web, make notes of what you do and do not like i.e. background
texture, background style, general layout, font style, navigation bar placement
and image style (beveled, framed, edges faded out and so on).
Bookmark any web sites that may have related information. You may want to have
a page on your site that has a list of links to other interesting or relevant
web sites. This is a great way to get people to bookmark your site and return
at a later time.
Determine the theme
The theme is the unifying idea on which
everything else rests. Sometimes, it is simple and obvious.
For a corporate recruiting site, the theme is why their
company is a great place to work.
Other times, it is more complicated. One
e-commerce site might have a theme of great prices and
saving money, while another may have a theme of high quality
products and snob appeal. The editorial content and graphical
look and feel would be very different for the two sites.
A bargain site may, for example, have
bright colours and simple graphics and have a lighthearted
look and feel. Deeper colours with photographs of well
dressed people using their products in sophisticated settings
would be more appropriate for the high priced site.
What colours represent your organization?
Do you wish a whole new look? Bright? Soft? Inviting or
startling? Just like watching TV, colours do affect site
Determine what you want to accomplish
The purpose of your site trickles down
through each step that you take in creating it. You want
the title of each page to specify how it supports the site's
purpose. The textual content of each page needs to lead
naturally into some specific aspect of the topic that furthers
Would you like customers or clients to
buy your product or service online? Or perhaps your service
demands, or you prefer, face-to-face interaction.
Reading our "Why should I have a
web site?" page may help you identify your goals.
Determine who you want to reach
What are the demographics of your customers?
Are they local or international or both? Knowing your target
audience is key to the success of your web site. Are you
developing a site for customers? Company Employees? Wealthy
people? Children? Adults? Students? You should determine
not only the target group your site is geared toward, but
also the age group and gender.
Not only does your audience determine
your content, but its preferences influence your visual-design
requirements as well. The colors, layout, content and number
of pages for your site may vary, depending upon the target
audience. Without at least a general idea of you potential
audience, it is difficult to know what type of site to
Gather your materials
Collect the information you want to include on your web
site. These materials could include:
These materials will also include graphics: NOTE: We can
create graphics and scan pictures for you.
- history of your organization
- philosophy of your organization
- press releases
- articles written about you or your company
- contact information
- product or services brochures
- product catalogues
- other product information, prices and pictures or photos.
- frequently asked questions
- video clips
- links to other web sites
- information about your services, your experience and
- geographic area where you provide services
- any services you offer which are unique, different
or better than your competition has to offer. What are
these services and how will they benefit your potential
- company logos
- staff photographs
- product photographs
- building and/or office photographs etc.
If you plan to use information or images
you did not create, make sure the information or images
are not copyrighted, or that you have written authorization
to use them.
Organize your information
Divide the information you gathered into
sections. Each section should be a separate web page. Each
page should discuss a different concept or idea. A page
should contain enough information to fill a single screen
but should not be longer than five screens.
Include a brief summary of your web site
on the home page.
If you want people to get in touch with
you, make sure the contact information is immediately and
easily identifiable. This information should be placed
either all on one page or consistently on every page.
Enter your text
Enter the text you want to appear on your
web site in a text editor or word processor. Each web page
should be a separate document.
Always put the most important information
at the top of each web page. Some readers will not scroll
through a web page to read all the information. Use headings
to emphasize your titles and subtitles. Headings allow
readers to find information of interest quickly without
having to read the entire page.
Carefully check your web pages for spelling
and grammar errors.