The planning stage for a website design project is important. Possibly, the most important stage of the entire project. Without completing this initial stage, you are more likely to be unhappy with the finished product.
You may think it’s time-consuming, but once you recognise the significance of the planning, you will think again. Directly from our creative designers, here are some reasons why the planning stage is so vital for your project.
Reasons Why the Planning Stage is Important
Website Planning Stage Saves Time & Money
As mentioned above, you may think it is time-consuming, but it is in fact the opposite. By spending time at the start, you will save time in the long run. Designers are able to understand exactly what you want as well as ensure that it works well for your online presence. So much so, it reduces the number of revisions and miscommunications within later design stages.
Also, researching, planning and wireframing are fundamental exercises to determine your website usability. Designing everything in fine detail without any validation for these decisions can leave you with a website that your users are unlikely to enjoy using. Then, it will cost you more money to correct the issues that could’ve been avoided in the first place.
Designers Understand & Empathise with Your Users
Your website users are at the centre of all the decisions you make. By ensuring they are the primary focus, you will avoid subjective design decision based on what you want rather than what they need. Empathising with your users and understanding their needs, motivations and pain points is key to achieving a truly great user experience.
Sitting down with clients and discussing your target audience enables us to build a better picture of them. Of who they are, what drives them to your business, and what information they require when they land on your site. User Journey observations allow us to look into their objectives through the website. By walking through these key journeys, we can identify any friction that could deter a user from completing their objective.
Great Websites Aren’t Just in the Visual Design
For a successful website, you can’t rely on visual design alone. No matter how beautiful it is, it doesn’t have enough power to compensate for significant usability flaws. Users will quickly abandon an awkward website that requires extra effort to interact with, despite how nice it looks.
Great websites need comprehensive research and planning processes to validate both design and functional decisions. Sitemapping is completed to ensure that we create a positive user experience in-line with your website’s purpose and goals. This guarantees the design choices are in the best interest of the users and adds value to their experience.
The Planning Stage Follows the House Analogy
Website planning is like the planning of a house. Without it, the design and structure of the house will be chaotic. This will affect the living experience, may not fulfil the owner’s expectations, not have all the features that they expect or have features in unexpected places. By planning and deciding these things in advance, the house will ultimately provide a much more pleasant living experience.
Translating this to website design; by implementing website planning and understanding your users, you can avoid common pitfalls that negatively affect their experience on your website. Similar to blueprints for a building, wireframing involves creating a map that helps to place content areas in hierarchal order of importance and in-line with the website’s purpose and goals following the user’s journey.
Gain a Clearer Idea of Business & Project Requirements
Our planning stage consists of building up a background of your business, its aspirations, goals and overall direction for your new website – both in terms of design and functionality. Design can be subjective, so through moodboarding and discussing styling preferences we can accurately determine your design vision, pinpointing what you like and what you dislike.
One of our aims for our initial conversation is to alleviate any initial queries or concerns with the project. This is so they can be resolved early on and not cause any problems further down the line. In addition to queries and concerns, the planning stage also highlights any elements that are required in later stages of the project e.g., content, images, plug-ins, integrations, etc.
Website Design That Exceeds Your Expectations
It may initially feel like a longer process to include planning in your website design project, but by the end you can have a higher level of confidence in what has been created.
Our proven process is called a proven process for a reason; we spend valuable time with every client to streamline the project and create a design perfect for them. Want to find out what we can do for you? Take a look through our case studies or contact us today by calling 01473 934050, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or leaving us a message on our contact page.