Now that Iâ€™ve covered the basics of how to design a website, when to design it and who should do the work, now itâ€™s time to think about what needs to go into your site design.
Things to consider while you go through the design process:
- The website must match and extend your brand. Your logo and Visual Vocabulary for your website needs to match your printed pieces so that itâ€™s clear that they all come from the same company.
- It must look different than your competitorsâ€™ sites while still being of comparable or better complexity and quality.
- You can use more colors online. Many small businesses limit their color palette in print to one or two colors, because of printing costs. But, online, colors are free â€“ so why not expand your palette?
- Vertical or horizontal navigation? While a horizontal navigation bar looks more sophisticated and takes up less room, it also gives you less room to grow, and makes secondary navigation more difficult.
- Do you need secondary navigation? If so, how should it look?
- Consistency in navigation
- Should your design fill the whole web browser or be constrained?
- Do you have to worry about â€œweb safe colorsâ€?
- The advantages to using straight lines and edges.
- Flash vs. HTML: The pros and cons of both.
- Easier ways to get animation on your site: Animated GIFs
- Preparing graphics for online use
- Photos: Stock or custom
Specifics of text design:
- HTML vs. text as an image: The debate over having cool fonts or Search Engine friendly text
- Style sheets and why they make sense for text design
- Underlining and how to use it on the web
- How to use signatures on your web page
- Callout boxes
- Side bars
- Custom fonts in-line with other text
- Re-planning the navigation: What pages do you no longer need, what pages do you need to add?
- Complete re-coding
- Much the same as designing
Iâ€™ll be addressing each of these points in detail over the next few weeks.