We’ve all got a lot of work on our plate’s, so when it comes to the process of getting your client’s website started, it’s best to first outline your work so that both you and your client have a starting point and know where the website is going to end up. When you have an outline from day one, it helps to determine what is going to be done on the website and puts the whole project into perspective. With an outline, you and your client both have a tangible product to go back to in case of any disagreements or large-scale changes.
Your website outline does not need to be complicated or technologically advanced. You can create bullet point lists or use your website’s sitemap as a starting point. When you get started with your website outline, you will then likely even be able to get the navigation sorted out at that point, since you will then have a greater understanding of the website’s direction from the homepage design.
Here are some of the stages you should consider when completing your website’s outline:
This is the first phase of outlining. In this phase, you really just start with the basics. Think about the purpose of your website, what the website will essentially discuss and how the whole thing will fit together. What makes your website stand out? What are you selling (if anything)? Think about all of these aspects in the planning phase before you get started on going through your website’s navigation.
While you may think it early days to be thinking about your website’s navigational structure, it’s worthwhile to think about it in the outlining portion of your website. In this phase, you should think about how pages of your website will link together and how the entire website will work as a whole from a navigational perspective. It’s very important to plan your website’s navigational structure from the early days, don’t worry too much since this can definitely be changed down the line if you feel like the navigational structure that you determined in the outlining phase isn’t working for you, or your visitors.
Layout:This is the fun part. In this phase, you think about the placement of graphics, the overall color scheme of your website, as well as fonts and iconography. When planning the layout, it’s best to also refer back to the planning and navigational phases, to make sure that the layout that you’re selecting fits in with the overall scheme of your website.
While all of this may seem like a lot of work from the start, it’s definitely worth outlining your website from the beginning in order to end up with a smooth working process and a final product that you’re proud of. The initial work will all be worth it when you have a website that you love that’s also bringing in traffic.