How to effectively brief your website designer

When you are having a new website builtDo whatevery you can to improve communication with your website designer or an existing website designed you need to be able to transfer your ideas, dream and desires (of the website variety) to another person – your website designer. Unfortunately until the perfection of telepathy we still rely primarily on language, and as you would probably know, the same word can mean different things to different people. As an example of the different meanings and feelings that words hold, does ‘red’ conjure up images of a camp-fire, a post-box, the freckles on a red headed person, or the colour of leaves turning as winter approaches? The energy and emotion behind each of these is very different!

How do you make sure the meaning of your site gets across?

People represent their world in all sorts of ways so make sure you talk about how your page will look, feel, sound, move and all of the important information you want to portray. A good way of doing this is to have a look at other websites that already exist in the area that you want to enter – this is not to say that you will copy someone else’s work but you can then talk to a designer about the things you like or dislike about a site. With a couple of examples and your description of what you like and don’t like about the page you will be more confident that the message is getting across.

  • Have a look at some web pages that represent your desired outcome. List the ones that you like, and if you can identify the aspects that appeal then that is great (colour, information, layout, feel, video, blogs etc.)
  • Equally important is to identify some examples that do not appeal to you and the aspects that are behind that.

Remember why you are designing a website in the first place

It might seem obvious but with any activity it is important to think about your intention and the outcome you want to achieve, this will help you to recover from distractions and to keep you on track. Sometimes it is easy to get lost in all of the wonderful designs and clever ideas that are out there on the web. Something to consider after you have been looking at sites (and perhaps regularly as you go along) is why are you doing this exercise anyway?

  • What messages do you want the visitors of your site to come away with and what action do you want them to take based on visiting your site?

You need to keep your site fresh and full of relevant content once it is completed

Once your website is created then you will need to make sure that it remains as fresh, relevant, and full of exciting content as when it was first completed. There is nothing more telling than a site with a blog that has not been updated for six months or a list of upcoming events that are all 2 years in the past. You are better to remove these if they are not going to give a good impression to your visitors. Think about how you will maintain your site and just how many of the new whiz-bang features you really need (and how many are just flavour of the month with your developer or designer). There are great ways to simplify content creation and updating like twitter, face book and other social media inputs but make sure they are relevant to your overall plan for your site. You can always add new features to your site over time so go with something you (or your staff) are comfortable to support. If you have a team dedicated to this task then ‘go nuts’ but if you have to add this on top of your already busy day then be mindful of what you can achieve or the changes you may need to make to keep on top of this new mouth to feed.

If you would like help in any of these areas then feel free to get in touch.

Brian
your ‘peoples geek’