Minneapolis web design and SEO firm, Rocket55 realizes that planning the perfect website can be a very daunting process. Although we hope you’ll leave it to the experts (us!), we wanted to list a few tips we abide by in order to create the ideal website for your business.
How to Start the Project
Take a deep breath. Break down the creative process into bite sized, digestible pieces. When you have an entirely blank slate to work with, thoughts and ideas seem to pile on faster than you can organize or grasp them. Reflect on the project’s ideals and objectives. Take a step back. What are you looking for in a completed object? Are there specific items you must have included without exception (banners, navigation menus, color scheme, or page logo)? Try sketching, pen on paper, before you go digital. A crude sketch can provide inspiration and more importantly it can give you an outline for which to base all your future pages off of. A prototype offers a wireframe or template for all other content.
Browse Design Galleries
Design galleries may have a poor reputation in some designers’ opinions — cheap ways to plagiarize other designers and rip off their ideas. While Rocket55 acknowledges its a thin line to walk, we cannot disagree more. Designers choose to submit their designs into these galleries and should feel honored that others may draw inspiration from their works. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with finding inspiration in other peoples’ work. Truly talented web designers are able to master their skill and create their own interfaces from memory and inspiration! CSS galleries and many of the showcases online are perfectly fine for the beginning designer. Once you slowly begin to master the basics and develop a more sophisticated skill set, you are able to become more creative because you have more authority and experience with the process. Similar to many other things in life, this is one skill which becomes more developed with practice. Everyone has to start somewhere!
Give Your Interface a Test-Run
Before even coding your sketch or mockup design spend some time visualizing the browsing process. Place yourself in the shoes of another user entering your website. Consider where they’d click and what they would find most interesting. Envision how a user might interact with your page’s navigation. Usability is the most important aspect to a perfect website. Once you get into this zone you may notice an accompanying change in mindset. This technique will help remove yourself from the position of “the designer” and see things from a larger perspective. I often recommend this step before coding to save yourself time in the long run.
White space is crucial with any great design. When page elements are laid out properly you’ll find a natural symmetry in design. Web pages coded with grids and accessibility in mind tend to appear cleaner and much more user friendly. Walking the same line as white space it’s key to remove any elements which may be taking up unnecessary space. Ensure your page’s content – paragraphs, headings, images, and videos – have enough room to breathe and interact with your website’s visitors.
So there you have it according to Rocket55! Best of luck!