Here are some useful steps in planning and agreeing a website design that help develop the web sites "brand image".
Sometimes its easier to see what you like than explain what you want. I would recommend exploring the internet and selecting five websites that have elements that you want to include in your own web site. They do not have to be in the same line of business but they demonstrate things that you like that would suit your brand image. E.g. layout, colour schemes, fonts, functionality, navigation structure.
These build on the content and research to sketch in the pages required and the basic format of the page layouts. These determine where the navigation will be and the general positioning of blocks of content. Whilst anything is possible there are fairly standard layouts that make help to engage your visitors not confuse them. E.g.
Most sites have:
- Header content - good for a name, logo, banner, navigation links
- Main content - the content of the page sits here. It may be full width or divided into columns e.g. main with right or left sidebar or two, three or four column layouts. It might be a combination of these.
- Footer content - good for copyright, additional links, quick contact details. Sometimes used for additional navigation links.
Think about the navigation of your site - Where do you want the menu to be. Make it simple for your visitors to follow. Most sites have either a horizontal menu bar at the top of the page or the bottom of the header. Some place the navigation links in the sidebar -usually the left. Others may use a combination of these.
Style tiles define the look and feel of a site without the detail of a full mock up.
If you already have an established brand then this is likely to inform this process.
If this is a new business or website the stile tile define how different elements represent the values of the business/ website and attract the target audience. These can include:
- Colours of backgrounds, banners, logos, buttons and fonts
- Fonts used for titles and paragraph text
- The positioning of key brand elements
- The use of lines, shape, gradients, textures and space to
Mock-ups bring the wire frames and the style tile together in an exact sample of the home page and one internal page. This is the last stage to confirm the elements of the website design.