10 tips for getting what you want from your website

Added 30.06.09

1. Define your brief clearly and concisely. Think about it - if you're not entirely sure what you're looking for then it could take a designer time and money to figure it out for you.

2. Listen to the web designer's suggestions. You might know exactly what you want your website to look like, but they have more experience at how websites should look and be laid out.

3. Take a note of websites that you like and don't like, and the reasons you've come to those decisions. Convey those ideas to the web designer, it will give them a better idea of how to steer the design of the website.

4. Research your industry and see what your competitors are doing. Again, note the features that you think might improve your website design and things that you could improve upon.

5. Know your audience. Find out how they behave on the web and the type of websites that they visit on a regular basis.

6. Read over and spell-check all of the content on the website. The designer should be able to spot the majority of typos but it helps to have another pair of eyes to find any mistakes that might have slipped through the net.

7. Show people the website and get their honest feedback. Is the navigation working? Does the layout make sense? How could you make the website better?

8. Consider using stock photography or a professional photography service for your products. Strong images make a huge difference to how polished a website looks.

9. Think about accessibility and search engines. Make all of the information and navigation as simple and logical as possible.

10. Communicate. Let the designer know how you feel the project is progressing. That kind of feedback is indispensable and will prevent the project taking more time than it should.

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