Website design projects can be some of the most exciting and rewarding things that I work on at JW Creates. In this note I'll share how I break down a website project using my most recent website for the YWHAG Research Foundation.
Website design can feel very overwhelming for most people because there are so many different aspects to it. Not only does it have to look attractive and get peoples attention, but you have to think about things like;
What content do I need on my website...?
What's a web host...?
Where do domains come from...?
How do I keep it up-to-date as my business and offerings change...?
There are many other factors that come into play, and this is where having a partner in your corner, like me, helps take this stress off your back. My process focuses on your needs and goals, and uses that to create the roadmap for your custom website project.
Consultation - Discover needs, define goals
In my opinion, the first consultation is key to a successful website project. This is where I learn if I am the right fit for this project or not, and it's where I start discovering the website needs. Also one of my favorite things about the initial consultation is getting to know you! For the YWHAG Research Foundation site, I learned that the diagnoses of their son's rare disease was the inspiration for creating the foundation. They want to support people that are in the same situation as them by gathering resources into one place, and helping to raise funds to further research for this disease.
I knew that we needed to use keywords that researchers and normal people would use when trying to gather information about the disease to make them easy to find. I also knew that we needed to make it as easy as possible for people to donate to the foundation.
Project Roadmap - Timeline & Questionnaires
From the beginning I will set a timetable for the project, with projected completion dates for certain parts of the process. Depending on the scope of the project, most websites projects are completed in 2-3 weeks. Now there are A LOT of factors that can cause that timeframe to be longer, but my goal is always to have it done in this timeframe.
The project officially gets started once I get back the first questionnaire that helps me decide on design elements, website structure, design inspirations, and more. With this information, and the info from the consultation I can build the framework for the website. Usually the process of getting from blank sheet to website layout takes about a week.
During this time that I am building the layout of the website, I send out another questionnaire with prompts for the copy/wording for the site. There's a lot of communication back and forth to gather things like logo files, photos, and any other content that is needed to complete the website design.
Design - High quality custom design
One of my biggest goals is always to provide a high quality, custom looking website design. I won't give away all of my tricks, but I have learned a few things that are simple touches, that I believe make a HUGE impact on your website design.
Interesting Textures - One of my favorite tricks to use, in almost all of my website designs, is to use a texture of some kind to break up the different color blocks and backgrounds. On the YWHAG Research Foundation website it was this fun paint splatter design. You will see this splatter paint design on different color strips throughout the website design, and as most of the primary backgrounds.
Thoughtful Use of Color - You don't have to deep dive into color theory, but it's helpful to know how colors generally get perceived or make people feel. For people facing the reality of a diagnosis of a rare disease, I really felt that we needed to help them feel hope and trust when they visited the website. Blue is a color that is commonly associated with trust, so I went with a light blue color, and paired it with a tangerine orange color because orange is energetic and hopeful. Together these colors build the base for the other design choices, and I left plenty of white space to make the design feel bright and airy.
Tools - Wix partnership & Tools
A website is only as good as the tools it provides, and with my partnership with Wix we can supply the tools needed for your business to be successful. One of the biggest things is making sure people can find your website. The worst thing would be to spend all the time and energy in creating a beautiful website, and no one ever sees it. With SEO (search engine optimization) tools built right into the web host, and partnership with the #1 search engine in the world (Google), we will make sure your site gets seen.
For the YWHAG Research Foundation, we also incorporated a blog, so they could easily provide new information and research updates for their supporters. We were also able to incorporate an interactive map that shows people known YWHAG cases around the world. These are just a few examples of all the other tools like contact forms, website analytics, and more!
Are you ready for a website that highlights your brand or business...? Are you ready for a website that has the tools to drive people to it...? Don't know where to start...?
If your answer is yes to any of those questions, use the form below to reach out and get your website project started! I only take on one website project at a time so make sure you get on my schedule today! Also use the link below to view the full YWHAG Research Foundation website.