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What do webdesigners need from clients

If you are looking to build a website yourself or get a company to do it for you, there is a bit of research you need to do - and some information you may find useful before you begin, especially if you are going to use a development company to build the site for you.

It doesn’t matter if the site is for personal or business use, a little bit of research will assist you in making your website become a high class product.

Firstly, decide what you want from your website

Do you want people to visit your site, have a look round, and email / telephone you?
Or, would you prefer they bought goods online? These are two very important questions.

You also don’t need to be computer literate or technical minded in order to get your website built - as long as you clearly understand how it is intended to work from a users point of view.

Ask yourself the following questions

  • What do I want people to be able to do on my website?
  • What do I need to be able to do on my website?

Once you have researched the industry in which your website is based, it is recommended that you look at other websites - both in and out of the industry - to get a idea of how you want your site to look. You will notice that many sites in the same industry may choose similar layouts, fonts, and colours. In some cases this is good – people may associate certain colour uses with one kind of product.
You need to decide – do you go with your competitors, or develop something new?

Make notes on the appearance of sites you like and dislike

Have a look at the different kinds of navigation on websites. Some go across the top, some down the side, and some in the middle. Different kinds of navigation are suitable for different areas of websites; horizontal navigation is very common, and can be a good place to put links to the most basic parts of your website.
Vertical navigation can be useful if you have some high priority sections on your page that you want visitors to see.
Pulldown menus can be good, if not overused. Consider – will a visitor with a fairly small monitor be able to quickly see a link or menu option to a “high importance” page on your website?

Prepare the text content would be a good start

Write good quality content for each page of your website. Dont leave this to the web developer – you know your industry.

If your website will have contact forms, choose which information you need them to collect

If you are wanting features such as a e-commerce (online shop) or to store hundreds of products, this needs to be documented. Decide which information you need to store about each product – and think about storing images and banners this way. Web design companies will help guide you based on past experiences where necessary.

Consider hiring a photographer

It is recommended you do try and provide high quality original images of your company and all its products - rather than using them off the internet. High quality images show your company in a much better light – and a great site design can be ruined by small, compressed, badly taken photographs.

You can hire a photographer if necessary to come to your business and take pictures for you. Images should be of a high resolution, its better to downsize images then upsize them to fit.

Web developers are here to help

It is sometimes hard to understand how people would like their websites to function. If you have time, the best thing to do is write down all the ideas you have and then go through them with the development companies you speak to.

No two companies will have the same opinion – this is completely normal. However, you are ultimately in control of your project. Dont get sold on many features you don’t require that are the “latest thing”. The best advice by far is to do some research into what your clients want. Do you have any clients you could ask personally? Or any suppliers you could politely contact?

Consider a domain name

The last thing to consider is a web address for your site. Do you go for a brand name such as coca-cola.co.uk, or do you choose an address which reflects the items or services you sell – such as soft-drinks-online.co.uk ?

If you want to start a company, you may want to consider the second option.

Website Checklist

  • Content for each page
  • Colour Scheme ideas
  • Images (high resolution!)
  • Logo (if applicable)
  • URL (web address) ideas
  • Data Capture forms

The above check list should give you an idea of some of the basic information you will need to start your web development project, and have it run the way you want.

Comments3 Comments

Scott Carde

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14 May 2009

Scott Carde

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14 May 2009

Web designer

The more information available to web designers, the better the results will be for a business. In my own experience as a web designer, I have often found that customers leave too much for their designers to ascertain. Sometimes even the text for the website is not provided to the designers. A business should be involved in the web design process right from start to finish.

19 June 2009

All comments are moderated for spam and will not be shown. All genuine comments wil be show, however the links will be based on a NO FOLLOW RULE. Repeat commenters adding value to the articles and discusions will have removed alowing Follow Rule to Work.

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