Reason/Purpose For Site?
This may seem to be asking for the obvious. “It’s for my business, of course” may be the knee jerk reaction to this innocent sounding question. But there is good reason it’s at the top of the list.
Without knowing the reasons why we are building a site, we cannot start. We need to know what state your company is in ie: starting up, maintaining, re-inventing, etc.
We need to know, is it an online “brochure” to get new customers who have never heard of you? Or for existing knowledgeable people who know what they are looking for and just need to find it?
Before answering, take a moment to ponder what is the end reason you wish to have a web presence, and we can help you reach your goal.
Who is this site for?
Again, may seem very obvious, but who is going to be viewing/finding/seeking your site? Not the least of which we need to know for meta tag (Google etc) information, but most importantly, are teenagers going to be the main demographic? Senior citizens? Rock and roll, country, or classical?
As you may see, web users vary in age from 4 to 104, and race, sex, etc, obviously even more diverse. So the more narrowly you can determine this for us, the more helpful we can be in helping you. Every little bit helps.
For example, we frown on using SERIF (classical style with tails and feet on the letters) fonts or smaller text because in the web environment they are harder to read, especially when people with vision problems are trying to read it. But if your site will be viewed by children and young adults, that may not be as much of a concern.
Brand NEW -vs- Re-Design
If you are having a new site done, you may probably skip this.
If you are having a site redone, it saves much time for us to know a few things…
What don’t you like about it?
What would you want different, and in what way?
What sites do you like? What about them do you specifically like?
What changes (if any) are happening with menus and body text?
Are we sticking with same basic theme or from scratch? This is including but not limited to color palette or logo.
Once we have these answers or a good starting point to get the conversation going, the project can then proceed very smoothly.
We rarely if ever have problems that prevent us from giving you the best possible website for your money.
Overall Style: Business, traditional, outside the box?
This is most crucial to the design process, and is also connected with all of the other points here.
Would you like your site to be understated?
Does it need some pop, or urgency?
Is art or flair appropriate, or would you like something that blends in?
What image do you want to portray? Or would you like to portray?
This all depends on your business type, your personality type, and your needs. Without this information we are left guessing, which is not helpful to anyone, especially our clients…
Overall feel: Attention grabbing, inviting, utilitarian?
You may put this as a sub heading to overall style, but its slightly different in the aspect of functionality vs. style.
If you are a reseller whose site has the main purpose of taking orders, you may not want to overdo the artsy type design, although who knows, the situation may call for it.
If your site is mainly advertising or gaining new clients, then you may wish for something that “pops” or attracts attention, and is pleasing either to the eye or mind.
It is something to think about when we are working towards your ideal design.
Logo? Art? Photos?
If you have an existing logo, we would need that as well as any applicable logo rules, in the highest quality format you have available:
(EPS file is ideal).
The same goes for any artwork, photos, etc, you want.
The more we have the better.
(not to use, but to choose from)
The higher quality the better.
Color Scheme: Palette in place? Cool, warm, neutral?
If your company has corporate colors you already use, this would be VERY helpful to have. WE would prefer digital files of the highest quality available. If you can’t locate these files usually your printed will have them.
We could start with something new, but “branding” and sticking with one palette helps your company in the long run for a variety of reasons.
If you need a palette, we can discuss appropriate colors based on the above-mentioned criteria. I have a file of palette choices below. The colors in each palette match and/or are complimentary in some way.
Download a swatch book here.
Colored/watermark background VS white
This would fall under aesthetics and taste vs. functionality and readability.
We try to use our best judgment with this and all design quandaries, and will try to work closely with the client if we decide to go this route, and discuss how the site progresses.
Even after the site goes live, nothing is set in stone and can always be tweaked or altered.
Additional edits after the included first go round can be acquired.
Touchy subject, but necessary to know. If its hundreds, thats important, if its thousand+ equally important. We need to know how many pages, how much content, etc, before we can give you a more accurate price quote.
Please be as forthcoming on reasoning as possible, for this will help cut down on costs in the long run.
As a web designer, I can attest to the transition and differences between print design and web. Font choices are somewhat more limited on the web due to browser constrictions as well as legibility issues as you can see to the right. We do have more flexibility on the fonts included in custom design (no templates here), but we try to follow the rules of good design. IE: if it’s a more corporate looking design, we would use a clean font, while cursive or comic book fonts would be totally inappropriate and frowned on.
Font for Site Body
We have very limited choices, perhaps a dozen and most are “sans serif” variations of the same idea IE: Arial, Verdana, Tahoma etc.
While Times New Roman is also a choice, I hardly ever see the need to use it, its very hard to read online. But this is a case-by-case basis and we can cross this bridge if needed.
This means if you wish to sell “items” be it merchandise, tickets, sponsorships what have you, and be able to accept payments etc online and have it be part of your site through us.
We need to know if this is something you want or need, and what exactly is involved.
What is your site saying for you? What do you want it to be saying?
Do your customers need to be able to communicate with you? Directly on a blog?
Need to be able to screen comments and/or users?