I’m not stating design isn’t important. The reverse is true. Developing without the end outcome in mind is a recipe for disaster, resulting in continuous site design redevelopment (a costly workout if somebody is designing the site for you) or the adjustment of content to fit the style (a certain no-no!).
What content do we need to offer prior to we can start with the design? I would absolutely have a prepare for each page of the site that you prepare to construct. Then, for each page, describe the objectives that you are attempting to achieve for the page – that will assist you identify what content should be on the page. Write the content and determine which images need to go with the content. What I haven’t mentioned so far is determining what the general goal is for the website … what are you attempting to attain … what would you like the visitor to do on the website once they have gotten here? Sign-up for a newsletter? Buy a product? Email the sales group?
As soon as the pages have been identified and the content is composed, we can now add the other missing components needed to design the site. What branding exists within the company (ie. Logo designs, corporate colours etc). Do you have any pre-existing ideas relating to the feel and look of the site? Are there any websites you have seen that show these concepts? Will call kinds, shopping carts or e-mail lists be needed?
As soon as you have actually gone through this process, you will have drastically minimized the cost and headaches of website style … resulting in a site that will satisfy your objectives and be something that you take pride in and happy to suggest to your clients.
Or more to the point, the website style or the content? While many people believe that the most important aspect of their site is the design, in reality its the material. More to the point, the content then drives the style of the website. Developing without the end outcome in mind is a recipe for catastrophe, resulting in consistent site design redevelopment (a costly exercise if someone is creating the site for you) or the adjustment of material to fit the design (a guaranteed no-no!).
When the pages have been figured out and the content is composed, we can now include the other missing components required to create the site.