Good web design is the result of the planning process and discovering the user’s needs, so that, the UI (User Interface) optimizes traffic flow to desired goals and the UX (User Experience) is easy to use and engaging.
Web design is most effective when the client and the web designer are on the same page and plan.
All of the jargon web designers use can be a challenge to understand. Subjective terms, like I want the site to “look modern,” can be misunderstood by your designer.
I have heard horror stories of miscommunication and poor planning from entrepreneurs who come to Anphira after getting frustrated with their current designer.
Too many average designers do not take the time to thoroughly plan the design for their client and understand exactly what it is their client wants and needs. So I am sharing with you today a questionnaire that is similar to the one we use at Anphira.
(Note: Stay till the end and you can download a copy of our questionnaire)
‘Cause We Never Go Out of Style
Yes, that does happen to be a reference to my girl, T-Swift.
Style is probably the most important aspect of your website to nail down. Depending on your business, a visitor will expect your overall website to look a certain way. You would not expect social media websites and news websites to look the same.
Style is the distinctive appearance of your website that is determined by the layout, fonts, palettes and more.
So we ask our potential clients what styles they like.
The six main styles that we show our customers are: Modern, Magazine, News, Street, Corporate and Textured.
Modern style is often simple, full of large images, and it has a unique font style. Modern websites take full advantage of the new style and feature updates on the web that have become available in recent years. An example of a modern site is The New Yorker (Some sites may incorporate multiple design styles).
With a magazine style website, your design will be heavily imaged based with a strong emphasis on typography. The design is usually clean, despite the use of ads that are throughout the site. A good example of a magazine styled website is Vanity Fair.
News websites are full of content, have multiple data areas, and are very data-driven. These sites often seem clustered and a challenge to browse. These websites are very active and are updated often. An example of a news style website is the Huffington Post.
This web design style is borrowed from the style of the youth in urban areas. The design is often edgy, sexy and bold. An example of street design is Rex Monkey, an ecommerce site.
Corporate styled websites are the websites that are most commonly visited. These sites are conservative and trustworthy. They will often look historic, but they convey professionalism. A good example of corporate style design can be seen by MailChimp, an email delivery company.
Websites designed with texture stand out when compared to regular websites. Texture can be a great addition to a website if done right. A good example of a textured style web design is Old Town Spice Shop.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
Once we have an idea of the style, we will look for specific elements, like parallax or opt-in boxes, that a client might want to incorporate into their website.
To get an idea, we ask a series of three questions:
- Name the best website out of your direct competitors – What do you like about the site?
- Name the best website out of your indirect competitors – What do you like about the site?
- Name the best website – What do you like about the site?
The response received will be all over the board from simple elements like colors to complex features like pop-up opt-in boxes.
For example, let’s assume we have a potential client who needs an ecommerce running shoe store designed.
For the first question, our potential client might say that they love the main image and strong call-to-action (CTA) on Nike’s home page.
For indirect competitors, they might say they love the menu or the support for Breast Cancer on Dick’s Sporting Goods’ website. Lastly, they might say they love the color palette and font style of Instagram.
These questions give valuable insights into what a potential customer may want on their website.
E.T. Phone Home
The home page is arguably one of the most important pages on your website. If you do not have specific landing pages, then your home page serves as your main landing page.
As a result, it is important to have the right elements on the home page and easy navigation in the menu.
We like to ask a set of questions that are related to the elements of the home page and the navigation menu.
For example, we ask:
- Are there any particular elements you need on your home page (e.g. a link to a certain page or an image)?
- What type of navigation menu do you want?
There are so many types of navigation menus out there. You can have a simple one with five pages to a complex drop down menu with every single page ever created on your website.
Images, Fonts and Colors
The last group of questions that we ask are a series of questions related to images, fonts and colors.
- Do you have an established color scheme that you would like to maintain with your brand?
- If not, what colors do think will attract your intended audience?
- What style font do you like and think will attract your audience?
- Do you have access to a photographer or stock photos?
These questions will help to make sure you and your designer or you and your client are on the same page when it comes to the needs and wants of a website.
As important as it is to find out what your client wants, it is more important to understand the needs of their visitor.
Make sure everything that is on the website serves its purpose for the visitor.
If you are a potential client or a web designer, be sure to download our prospective client questionnaire.