Design options are limitless, which is why your first step in thinking about design is to identify your goals and determine what your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are. What is it you expect from your website?
Do you have a website? Share with your designer what (if anything) you like about your site. What is missing that you would like to have? Clearly explain to your graphic designer your goals. Make sure your designer shares his/her work along the way. You don’t want to get to the end of the project only to find it’s not what you expected.
In considering the design of your website you have several elements to consider all of which influence the tone and style of the website resulting in an emotional connection and first impression.
Examples of tone include:
- High Tech
- Fun or Happiness
Some design decisions are carried across the whole website and affect every page, while others are unique to specific pages including:
Sitewide Design Decisions
Before you begin to design your website, remember it must be compatible with desktop monitors, tablets, and mobile devices. Then consider the following:
- Background color of the header at the top of the page
- Font style and font color for the main navigation, hover/selection action color
- Heading font type, color and size
- Body copy font type, color and size
- Page background (white or color, with a gradient, have texture or blended graphic elements)
- Add a custom design feature to the bullets
- Button design (size, shape, color, font type and color, border or no border)
- Footer background color, font type, color and size, and how many columns
- Size, color and placement of social icons
Individual Page Design Decisions
- Size and shape of main photo at the top of the page (single photo, collage, or photos in a slider)
- Add messaging in the main photo (font type, size and color)
- How to organize the information on the page
- Use Call-to-Action, how many and where to place them
In addition to all the design choices described above, the design needs to take into consideration the website visitor. Are they:
- Male or female, young, middle-aged or older
- High or low income, college-educated
- Business professionals or consumers
- Likely to have a disability impacting usability
Each demographic can react differently to the color, font style, and simplicity or complexity of the design.
We want to emphasize that the business goals of the website will influence the design. For example, is the goal to educate with an online brochure, or is the goal to generate leads or to sell merchandise directly through the website? All of these present unique design challenges.
It is the role of the graphic designer to bring all these website design elements together into a cohesive look and feel that gives the visitor the “first” impression you are trying to make with your brand.
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