There are typically four phases in the web design process, something we like to call steps to the summit:
This blog will focus on tips and tools for curating (the selection, organisation, and presentation of online content) the content that a web designer will typically need from you to build your site.
This process typically starts with your website navigation (or sitemap):
Let’s take a look at a visual representation of a sitemap on Huysamen Westraad Inc., a website belonging to one of our clients.
As the word suggests, a sitemap maps out the way visitors will be navigating to different sections and pages on your website.
The sitemap should be plotted before you start writing the website copy. The easiest and most visual way to do this is by using a spreadsheet, such as Excel or Google Sheets.
Here is an Excel template with a basic populated site navigation. Feel free to use it as the starting point for your website’s sitemap.
Let’s look at what a content list might look like for a website:
> logo variations or use cases
> brand colour palette (HEX codes)
> typography (brand font selection)
> mood board
Don’t skimp on your corporate identity, since this will guide all your marketing efforts going forward to ensure a consistent look & feel. Customers may translate a bad quality logo with a bad quality product or service. Your logo also ensures that your business/services becomes synonymous with your offering - whether it is used on a brochure, your website, social media or vehicle branding.
If possible, don’t use an MS Word-based document to draft your website copy.
Google Docs is cloud-based and a simple, free and relatively easy- to- use alternative. The benefits of using a cloud-based document are:
If you have a Gmail Address, you already have a Google Account, which is where you will find the Google Docs functionality:
There are various options for finding high-quality stock photography, including:
Premium sites, which ask a fee for finding and downloading stock images that represent your brand. E.g.:
There are also pretty good stock photography sites with free options:
Also see below for tips on how to send your photos.
Hire a professional photographer for a day to take photos of your team (individual headshots and group photos), office space (inside and outside) or your products.
Quality photos translate into a high-quality website. Likewise, photos taken in front of different backgrounds, with different clothing styles or bad lighting, will negatively affect the perception of the type of quality that can be expected from your business.
> special content (e.g. video, resources, PDFs, client reviews, attachments, external links, etc.)
Once you’ve gathered and downloaded all your visual content and documents, proceed to create a dedicated folder on your computer (with a title like Website Visuals) and then adding your photos to sub-folders that are titled according to the website pages or sections you would like the photos to be used on (e.g. Home Page / About Us Page / Our Team Page / Showcase, etc.):
These images and graphics can be pretty large files to send to your web developer via email. Here are two tools you can use for sharing the relevant folder with all your images:
Once all the necessary content is available, it needs to be curated according to the aforementioned website navigation organogram (aka sitemap).
If the content process does not excite you as much as it does to our team at Pathfind Media (we know, we’re geeky that way), we are happy to either guide our clients through the content phase, or to do it all.
But remember: nobody knows your business better than you do, so you will need to set aside a day or two for us to pick your brain and investigate your existing resources, so we can write and curate the content on your behalf.
We also have excellent referrals to photographers and videographers, should you be interested in creating some extra bells and whistles for your site.
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