Website design is not a straightforward process. Just the opposite, it is a highly complex process which involves a lot of planning. Fortunately, you can always make changes and modifications to enhance its visual appeal, increase usability, improve functionality, etc. But it is a lot easier (and cheaper too!) do to it right from the start. So don’t underestimate the importance of planning.
In order to make an immediate impression on your website visitors, present your business/company in the best light and encourage visitors to buy your products/services, you need a good design but before that, you need a good plan which should - among other things - include:
The goal/purpose of your website. It is extremely important to determine what exactly do you want to achieve with your website and what its role will be in your business. Do you want it to be an extension of your off-site business? Or should it have a life of its own? Also, try to outline at least a rough plan of its future development, SEO goals, marketing strategies, etc. That way you will be able to develop and expand it without the need to make complicated and expensive changes to design every time you want to add something new to enhance user experience.
Graphics. Images and other graphic features can have a very powerful effect. But only if they are relevant and well incorporated into the design. So when hiring a web designer, send them all the images and other graphic requirements as soon as possible. Also, you are advised not to insist on too many images to avoid affecting usability.
Navigation. The importance of clear and easy to use navigation cannot be emphasised enough. If the visitors can’t find their way around your website, they are highly unlikely to make any purchase. Instead, they will probably leave your website and go to your competition.
Content. Will your website include a blog? News section? How about informative articles? Questions and answers section? Think about what kind of content you want your website to include and let your designer know about your content requirements. That way they will be able to develop a design according to your specific needs.
A touch to make your website stand out from the competition. Let’s face it, there are hundreds, if not thousands of businesses selling the same or similar products/services. And they all - well, at least most of them - are present online with the purpose to increase their sales, win new customers/clients, etc. To get you share of the pie, it is therefore of key importance to stand out from the rest.