1) What Do I Want My Site To Achieve?
It sounds simple but it often gets lost in the process of web design. Are you looking for customers to buy direct from your site (ecommerce)? Do you want to simply provide them with more information about your services and get them to contact you? Are you providing regularly updated news to become thought leaders in your field? Make sure you are aware of what you want your site to achieve before you try to convince your customers about it.
2) What Customers Am I Targeting?
Determining whether your target market is in their 20s or 50s, male or female, British or Global along with a host of other key demographic questions is absolutely vital in the way in which you approach the design of your website. Clearly establishing who you wish to see your website and use your services can affect all aspects of web design from colour to style and navigation to usability. It’s key to know who you want on your website before you start trying to attract them.
3)What Are My Competitors Doing?
You need to be aware of the style and content of your key competitors’ websites so that you know what you are up against. You need to know what is being done right by people in your industry and what is being done wrong. Don’t be scared to draw inspiration from a company that you are in direct competition with – if something is working already within your industry then this is a good framework to work towards.
The design of your website is crucial – don’t rush into it. Have the answers to these 3 questions clearly established first.