Planning your Web design We offer careful planning to achieve a uniform look and feel for your Web site making it friendlier and easier to use. Before you choose any structure for your site, we invite you to address the important issues of: Message Audience Budget. What are you trying to say? Deciding What You Want to Say To pick the main overriding concern for Web site design, it would be to answer the following question: The clearer you are about your message, the more focused your Web site will be. To this end, it is useful to try to state the purpose of the Web site in one sentence. "Creating the coolest Web site on the planet" doesn't count. Although it could be regarded as a goal, it's too open-ended to be useful. Here are some examples of clearly stated Web site concepts: To provide the best small-business resource center focused on Adobe software. To chronicle the world's first voyage around the world by hot air balloon. To advertise music lessons offered by a collective of keyboard teachers in Australia. Audience? Targeting Your Market Who are you trying to reach? Quite often, a site's style is heavily influenced by a clear vision of the site's intended audience: Is your intended audience composed of professional developers and designers. Is your intended audience composed of experienced internet users. Is your intended audience composed of inexperienced internet users. In contrast, if your site is devoted to mass market e-commerce we must work with a very different group in mind: shoppers. Everyone at one time or another falls into this category, So we are really talking about a state of mind, rather than a profession. Many shopping sites use a very straightforward page design that is easily manouverable, comforting in its repetition where visitors can quickly find what they are looking for and, with as few impediments as possible, buy it. Your target users' bandwith. Does your target market use fast cable, ADSL, etc., or is it a 'dial up' market? Budget - Determining Your Resources Your Web Site is not created in a vacuum. Virtually all development work happens under real world constraints of some kind. We are accustomed to working within a budget. In fact, the term budget applies on several levels: 1. You have a monetary budget: 'how much are you willing to spend'? This translates into a combination of development time (for designers and programmers), materials (custom graphics, stock photos, and the like), and ongoing maintenance. You can have a large site with many pages that pulls dynamically from an internal database and requires very little hands on upkeep. 2. Alternatively, you might choose to construct a small, graphics intensive site that must be updated by hand weekly. 3. Your budget applies to the amount of time you can afford to spend on any given project. Any professional Web designer is quick to realize that time is an essential commodity. The resources needed when undertaking a project where you have no deadline is very different from that needed when you sign a contract on June 30 for a job that must be ready to launch in July. These three points remain as your main considerations: What is your Message? Who is your Audience? What is your Budget ?
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