Understand Your Website is Your Online Building
By Tamara S.
(Note: This is Part 2 – you can read Part 1 here.)
In a continuation of thought, I now want to discuss one aspect of the planning process for your website design or redesign – namely, who actually does the plan. And by plan, I don’t just mean the layout and design of the website. I am talking about it’s purpose and function, the reason it even exists, and these sort of things.
Sometimes business owners and managers recognize that website design does take a plan, and they might even recognize that it takes time to do good website design (as you can see by the picture for this post – an excellent example of what a little more talent and time on a drawing can do: Thanks RevBuilders team!). However, said business owner or manager finds that they are still really busy. So what is their default? They want their marketing or web design company to do the plan.
Designers and Businesses, Unite in Web Design, and the Planning of Web Design
Time and time again, I find myself struggling to sift through the minimal information (if any) thrown at me from a company when they don’t have a plan, and they either do not have the time or do not wish to work closely with me. I feel as if I am being asked to create the purpose for the website, when I don’t know the company as well as the client does. Can I do it? Absolutely, I do it all the time. But I never feel as though I can truly capture and encapsulate the business’ purpose for the website, and as a result it takes a long time before they (the company) will connect with their website. In addition, not having discussed a plan for the website, they tend to feel like it is always lacking or incomplete, because they never articulated to themselves why they were designing the website in the first place, (and, this web design manager is frustrated at not being able to please our customer!)
Although we at RevBuilders have done it, I do not recommend that your web designers be your only plan designers in the process of designing a website. At minimum, brainstorm and write down your thoughts. Take down some notes for your plan of action and the purpose for this design or redesign. This accomplishes two things: first, you put into writing the purpose of your website; and second, you will be able to more effectively communicate this purpose to your web designers.
That Much Time for a Plan, That Much Time in the Design
Having a plan and a purpose for the website also helps explain why website design takes so long, and people tend to understand that time into the planning and design of a website means an investment. It took the business owner or manager time to create the plan for their website; the last thing they want is to see the design (or redesign) of a website be rushed just because they want it done now. In short, if you know what you want, you know what you’re waiting for. I am not suggesting that a website design or redesign should take as long as the construction of a building, a metaphor I used in Part 1. However, I do suggest that, more often than not, the frantic pace of our day-to-day lives is affecting the pace of our decisions, and we are often too quick to say, “This must be done, and it must be done now.”
RevBuilders is Here to Help You with Your Website Design Plan
In addition, I’m also not saying that business owners and managers have to come up with the website design plans completely on their own. That is why I like meeting with people before we ever start a single ounce of design. I want to hear their thoughts, and I ask lots of questions, because I’m trying to help formulate “the plan” of their website design, but I need them to be a part of it. By working together, by understanding that it’s a process and an investment, the business owner or manager and the web designer can create a website that best embodies the company it represents. I’ve had the privilege of working with some companies that have been like this, and the best joy in the world is that they enjoy their sites, and I enjoy working with them on their sites because I know we have a plan together, and I know that the website will make a difference in their online marketing.
Alright, done with my two-part rant – I hope you found it somewhat helpful if you are considering design for a new website, or redesign of your current website.