So, you need a web site. One that will impact your viewers, creatively market your services or artistic endeavors, and advertise your products, activities and events. What steps do you need to take to “Wow!” your audience and engage them with what you have to offer?
First, identify what you want to accomplish with your website. Do you plan to sell items online? Or, educate and promote your services and events? Do you need online registration or advance sales for tickets? Would you like to make frequent news posts along with photos and videos?
Second, give yourself time to be inspired. Incubating a distinct business identity takes time and thought. Talk with others whose input you value. Research what is already out there on the web, both in your line of work and unexpected sites you discover. Notice the promotional signage in your favorite stores. Browse through magazines related to your business. What colors, images, and themes standout in the written copy and imagery? Look around your office and work space. Often you will find a detail(s) you have collected that can lead to a larger theme.
For example, stained glass artist and business owner Amy Potvin asked Colordance Design to create an artistic website design inspired by her favorite stained glass window. The design that emerged is captured in this short animation:
View A Touch of Glass complete website.
Research Your Business Culture
Think about your audience and the age group you plan to attract. What style drives the culture? Casual? Rustic? Elegant? Playful? Contemporary? Corporate? Youthful? Alternative? The website design needs to appeal to their tastes, not necessarily yours.
As you research websites and advertising geared towards this audience, what metaphors or themes do you see?
Hierarchy of Information
What broad one word navigation headings best organize your website content? Think about file folders with general labels, with more specific information inside the folder.
The folder names would be headings such as like “About/Bio/Artist,” “Services,” “Portfolio,” “Shop,” “News,” and “Calendar”. More specific information underneath each general heading could be included on each page, or additional pages, with secondary navigation or a drop down menu bar.
What does your viewer expect to see? Organize your content (from most important to least important) with this natural flow in mind.
If you don’t already have one, you need a memorable business name, brand mark or logo which appeals to your audience. If you don’t have a logo, here’s where a skilled graphic designer’s touch matters. Often a tagline is helpful to further describe your business and distinguishes you from the “forest.” Some small businesses use their tagline for their website domain name, as long as the slogan is easy to remember, and not too many syllables.
If you already have some of these elements, you are ready for the next steps.
Collaborating with a Graphic Designer
You want your audience to remember you, and you want to stand out in the forest. A graphic designer is trained to help develop a distinct business identity that will impress your audience. To etch your business messaging in your viewer’s minds, your identity components should be consistently repeated throughout your media and print advertising.
At Colordance Design, we gather your ideas and content and get to work creating a conceptually designed website template which consists of a custom home and secondary page. Revisions are made while you gather your content.