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June 29, 2017

What Does a Web Designer Need to Get Started?

Author: Kristen Bachmeier

Getting started on a web design can prove to be challenging if you don’t have the necessary ingredients. The most difficult part about website design is grabbing the idea from the client’s head and making something out of it. This can be difficult if they don’t give you much to work with.

1.  Logo & brand guidelines

This is the first thing you analyze. For maximum effectiveness, it is very important to incorporate a brand’s logo within their site. So what type of elements could you understand from a client’s logo? In short it’d be colors, shapes, brand styles, & font choices. These 4 elements help you define the actual style that will both fit the brand and the client’s needs. Also they will be impressed that you took the time to put it all together.

2. What Are The Client’s Goals

Secondly the goals of a website is where the MEAT of the website is derived from. Website goals could quite possibly be the single most important thing that assist in web design because it is what the client is expecting to receive from you.. The designer!

The MEAT of a website is the bulk of information and the page elements included within a site. Elements are blocks of information or actions a user could take such as a call to action, a portfolio, products, services, events, calendars, ticketing systems, reservation systems, about us section, etc.

Things you may want to ask the client during the first meeting may be:

  • Why do you want a new website?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What problems do your clients have that your business solves?
  • Why should people do business with you rather than your competitors?
  • What do you NOT want on your website?
  • Can you list a couple other sites of your industry that you like?

In short, you want to match up client goals with website elements. Find creative ways to solve the issues that the client is having and help them grow.

3. Imagery

A lot of the times I hear myself saying “imagery is key”.  Well… That’s because it is when it comes to giving your website a personality. Imagery helps create emotion, you want to show how great your product or service is and showcase that your clients are happy.

One of my biggest pet peeves in the past couple years as a web designer is the client that doesn’t want to have photography done for their business. Let’s face it, it’s obvious now whether stock photos are being used. They can be used for vague situations such as ordinary objects or landscapes, but never to portray a company’s personality. Stock photos can scream fake and that can really hurt the customers trust. What if I went on tinder and used the magnificent Fabio while he was in his prime as my profile pic. Then I went on a date and showed my face. Do you think my date would be happy? Well, neither will your customer when they find out you’re a fake as well!

I could go on and on about the necessities of a website design, however this is what a web designer needs to get started. Without these three objectives, you’ll find yourself walking in the dark looking for answers on how to base the structure of your client’s website.

Kristen Bachmeier

Kristen Bachmeier is Atilus' Director of Operations and helps to oversee all client accounts and day-to-day operations. Kristen also has a background in digital marketing, and has been working in the digital marketing space since 2012.

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