Why Your Brand Is So Important To Building A Website
One of the first steps in the web design process is to decide on a visual look and feel. Without at least minimal branding, your designer is starting completely from scratch, and essentially has to create a brand identity for your business on the fly. This may or may not be consistent with the image you want to project. Development of your brand needs to come before a website, because the site is an extension of the brand and not the other way around — don’t put the cart before the horse.
There are many ways to write a plan, but a good one will cover the following, incorporating some of the elements you’ve ironed out previously:
- Brief background on the company and the problems they face.
This is important as it helps remind everyone why they’re doing the project in the first place.
- A site map to show the organization of pages and their approximate number.
- An outline of the design process, including allowances for revisions, and what the design deliverables will be.
Are you presenting Photoshop mockups or functional design prototypes? How many are you allowing for? (See Design section for more on this distinction.)
- A list of site features, including clear definitions for each, and notes on where they will appear.
The term “features” is understandably quite vague. A feature is simply a component of the site that provides some specific display or functionality. It may present a type of content from the Content Checklist (see below). Because websites vary so widely in scope, it’s not possible to provide a complete list of all the features that ever will be. But here are a few common ones to get you started:
- Slide show
- Staff directory
- Contact form
- Why is the site needed?
- Who is the audience? What are the age ranges and interests of potential site visitors?
- How will they use the Web site and services provided by the company?
- How does the company help visitors and fit into their lives?
- What are the key reasons students may have for choosing the company?
- What should visitors of the site come away with?
- What content will be needed for the site?
- List the sections and features that will be included.
- What already exists and what needs to be developed?
- What should the site communicate?
- What are the primary objectives and goals (long term and short term) for the site?