The Best Way to Re-Design Your New Website

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Hey There

I’m Shirley. Your brand is a hidden treasure and my job is to help you get seen, heard, and paid what you’re worth.

A few weeks ago I talked about how you know you’re ready for a rebrand. So now that you know you’re ready, the next step if figuring out what to do.

In this article I’m going to be walking your through the steps I take as a designer to plan a website redesign from start to finish.

Ready? Let’s get into it.

First make sure you know who you’re designing for

First thing I need in every project is a completed questionnaire. In this questionnaire I ask some of the most important questions pertaining to the success of the project. When you’re new to business, I’ve seen that it’s hard to answer some of these important questions and thus people often walk away from their website project feeling like they wasted a lot of money. They way to prevent that is by having a clear goal and a clear objective. And to do that, you really have to think about your audience: what they want, what frustrates them, what they’re interested in, and all the stuff that motivates them to make a purchase.

You can find a number of brand questionnaires online. And they can often be overwhelming but here are a few things I like to focus on to ensure I’m design a great performing website:

  1. What’s the ultimate goal of the project? (i.e. book ca photoshoot, book a consultation, purchase a book, buy a ticket for the event, etc.)
  2. What are the main objectives? (In other words: how are you going to measure progress?) What action do you want your audience to take within the first 10 seconds of seeing your website? Example: 300 view per day, 3 inquiries per month, etc.

Creating a brand using words.

The next thing you’ll need is a list of words that will describe the vibe of your brand. You gather this information based on the research you’ve done on your audience. An important thing to remember throughout your process is that although this is your website and your business, the website should not be designed for you…it should be designed for your audience. I’ll give you an example: Let’s say you’re a coach who markets to female entrepreneurs. Intuitively some may think, the website should then be bright bubbly, feminine, and fun. But what if your audience isn’t Taylor Swift dancing, brunch-loving, mimosa drinkers? What if they’re more of the sex and city fashionista, modern art, and part-time professional? Then you’d have to rethink the bright, bubly feminine and fun vibe. Because that girl is looking for something sleek, clean, modern, and classic.Once you’ve meticulously studied your audience, gather about 12 key words that will describe the vibe of the website. You’ll be referring back to this every so often to make sure you’re on track.

Envision the brand with images.

Next up it creating vibe board or a collage of images and colors. This college will be what you’ll use as reference to create and collect images for the website that are consistent with the vibe of the brand that will attract your target audience. Remember remember remember! You are designing for your audience, not yourself.

With your vibe board in hand, it’s time to hire a stylist and a photographer to do a branded photoshoot. In your photo shoot you should only be using the colors outlined in your vibe board. So if you’re color pallet most has greens tans and greys, you should be in greens tans and greys. If your pallet has a collection of patterns and bright colors, you should be wearing patterns and bright colors. If you’re not really a big fan of styling yourself you can hire a stylist. My recommendation is hitting up a fashion-focused micro influencer who can take a look at your brand board and create a style guide of items you can wear to the photoshoot. Another option would be using a site like rent the runway and narrowing your search down to the colors in your pallet. Using your vibe board as inspiration, you’ll create a Pinterest board of specific shots that you want to take for the website and share this with your photographer. With this we’re in a great place to start the design of website.

Outline and draft your website pages.

The next step is understanding what pages you’re going to need, and what information needs to be on those pages. In this process, you may find you only need a one-page website, that has all the information there and ready for the audience to interact with. In most cases, you’ll find you need more pages to go in depth. Create a document for this. Title each section for example home, contact, service, etc. and start writing your pitch information for each. At this point, you can use a tool like Grammarly to edit your information to make sure it’s free of error, or if you’re really struggling to find the right words to say, you can hire a copywriter to do all the work for you. Remember to use your vibes words reference to ensure the voice of the narrative sounds like a person your audience wants to speak to. Use formal corporate lingo if your client is an executive type, use witty humor if you audience is the humorous type. Whatever you use, make sure it matches the vibe. I be creating a post on the best way to structure all your pages. So keep a lookout.

Hire a professional designer.

So now that you have your goals and objectives, a vibe board, branded photos, and complete website copy, you are ready to hire a designer. At this state, I take all the information my client gives me and translate it into a user-friendly interface. While some designers focus on how something will aesthetically look, I like to really zone in on intuitive functionality like figuring out the proper navigation, ensuring the call to action are very obvious so that the user is actually using the website, and pairing the right image with the right text, to connect the vibe with the information. I also dive into things that my client is not necessarily considering such as a 404 page, establishing template styles for archives, and single post pages, and even animated features that can add an element of surprise to the website

A little tip here, if there are images you absolutely hate or aren’t in love with, do not share this with your designer. Because if you do, you’re essentially giving them the creative freedom to use it. I can’t tell you how many times clients have shared something with me only to tell me “I don’t like this image of me.” Yikes! Only share images that you 100% want on your website. Your designer will using their expertise to make sure it’s being used in the right place.

And that it’s!

Let sum that all up. We talked about

  1. Determining your goal, and creating a list of objectives. The most successful website projects will always have a clear goal. If your goal is to earn an income through your website, then write that down and jot down at least 3 ways you’re going to get there.
  2. Doing some audience research and creating a list of keywords that will help you establish the vibe your people want to feel. Then taking that and creating a collage of images/colors to match. You’ll know you’re using the right keywords & images because your people will be saying “this is spot on.” Remember you’re collecting stuff that they like. Stuff that will be attractive and appealing to them.
  3. Getting a branded photoshoot using your vibe board, you’ll create a Pinterest board that you can share with a stylist and photographer to produce photos that will match your brand.
  4. Creating a document with all the information you’ll need to share throughout the website (including any important external links). Label each section according to what page that information will appear on. And finally…
  5. Hiring an expert designer to execute all the materials. Of course, I’m here to help you design that beautiful and effective website. My goal is to design a website that meets your goals and objectives to the T. Secure your spot today to create a customized website.

Let’s keep the conversation going!  In the comments let everyone know, which step if any, mentioned in this post are you looking forward to tackling and why?

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