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How to Define Goals Before Designing a Website

Developing a professional-grade website is a big undertaking; its complexities are not to be taken lightly. With so many moving parts, people to wrangle, and steps involved ,you have to approach the madness with some sort of methodology. As tempting as it may be to jump in and sketch out a new site’s structure, you should first define the business goals and site requirements and understand the customer you’re designing for.

From small family businesses to companies the size of Disney, Step One is the same: Understand, in order of priority, the top three-or-so goals that the company is looking to achieve with the design (or redesign) of the site. These goals directly influence the site’s concept, its structure, its visual design, and the layout and content choices you need to make for each page.

For example, when redesigning a micro site for a new product launch, the client wanted to appeal to the target customer — in this case, professional designers and photographers — and communicate the product’s optimal use case scenarios, not just compare its great new features. The solution was to profile the work of professional designers and photographers, so target customers could relate to the same needs. This two-part site for an Epson printer toggles between these professional stories and the product’s features. Clearly the designers understood the client’s goal: communicate ideal uses for their new product. What better way?

This microsite for an Epson printer uses real-life customer profiles and scenarios to illustrate th
Credit: © Epson.
This microsite for an Epson printer uses real-life customer profiles and scenarios to illustrate the product’s features. Smart.
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