Creating a Website Design Plan: 8 Tips for Communicating with Your Web Designer and Developer
Most customers expect you to have a website even if you own a brick-and-mortar business. Web design is the process of bringing your business and ideas to the Internet. Website programming turns those ideas into functional pages. To successfully transfer your business presence to the web, you need the right design and programming. Unless you’re a coder, you probably need to hire someone to develop your website. You need to give the coder and web designer specific instructions to ensure you get exactly what you need. A website design plan conveys your ideas to the developer, and these tips will help you create the right documentation.


Detail Specific Functionality

You know your customers better than anyone else. You know your business better than anyone else. You must be able to document your ideas and business requirements. Design documents are what each developer and designer use to create website that meets your needs.

The developers won’t know the nuances of your business. For instance, if you sell medical equipment, you probably need to have the customer sign documents or fill in medical information before ordering. In the documentation, detail each function that converts a potential customer to a paying customer. Highlight the details of the customer information you need, what your staff does to process the customer information, and what happens after the customer orders products or services.


Create an Industry Glossary for Specific Terms

Create an Industry Glossary for Specific Terms
Every industry has its own jargon. A developer won’t be able to understand your documentation if you don’t explain certain words and key phrases. The best way to handle this problem is to create a separate section in your design documentation that explains each industry term and acronym.

When you write your documentation, think about any phrases that are second nature to you but not common knowledge to the public. A good way to decide what phrases need definitions is whether or not customers are aware of certain industry terms. If a customer doesn’t know a term, then it’s likely your software developer won’t know the term either.

LDD Web Design specializes in developing professional WordPress web sites. Our Albuquerque, NM based professional web designers and web developers will provide you with top quality website development services. Our number one priority is creating a website that accurately and faithfully represents your company or organization while accomplishing your specific online business objectives. Learn More


Outline the Site Logic in a Process Flow Graph

Outline the Site Logic in a Process Flow Graph
Nothing explains process flow better than graphs. Software such as Visio lets you create graphs that explain logic flow and website processes. For instance, these graphs are good for explaining how a form submission should work. Most website owners have forms that display information based on customer input. You might want to show specific pages based on customer input regarding location. A logic flow graph tells the developer what page is next in the process as the user provides that information.

Avoid making the drastic mistake of asking the developer to determine process flow. Be specific on the type of information you need for each step in the customer signup process. Refactoring code because process flow is inaccurate is a costly mistake. Creating documentation eliminates much of the cost overhead associated with bugs and incorrect business requirements.


Create a Data Model

Creating a data model usually involves the help of a developer. A data model outlines each “property” in your website application. For instance, if you have a simple website that takes customer information and orders, you have three properties: customers, orders and products. These properties are then used to create the tables in your database. The developer needs to know all parts of your business that will be stored in the application. The developer designs the database, but you are responsible for detailing all information you need stored for future use.


Specify Logo, Colors and Other Company Detail

Specify Logo, Colors and Other Company Detail

Most companies are known for certain slogans, designs and logos. You want to add them to your site, but the developer needs to know which ones to include. You might also have color combinations that make up your business marketing. For instance, McDonalds is known for its yellow arches. The McDonalds website has a yellow and red color design to match the company logo. Make sure you specify these color pattern requirements, so the developer adheres to specific design details.

Separating your project into phases gets your site developed more quickly. You separate your project requirements into “must haves” and “wants.” The must-have items are what you need to properly run your business online. The “wants” are separate items that make it more convenient to run the website or help up-sell customers. When you divide your development project into at least two phases, developers can focus on what is critical before what can be added later. The critical functionality supports the website during the first phase, so you can upload the project to production quickly. Then, you append new functions to the website later as your business grows. This type of design also lets you scale costs with revenue.


Create a List of “Do Nots”

If there is anything you absolutely do not want on your site, make sure you tell the developer. For instance, you might want to avoid certain platforms such as WordPress or you want a completely different design than any other business (in other words, no pre-packaged themes). Some developers take your requirements and install platforms such as Joomla, WordPress or Drupal and then customize the platform for your business. If you don’t want this type of development, you should tell the developer.

You might also want to avoid certain terms or avoid linking to competitors. The developer won’t have enough knowledge to avoid the “do nots,” so always specify any designs or content you want to leave off the site.


Give Technical Details about Your Environment

Give Technical Details about Your Environment
It’s helpful if the developer knows the server, operating system and any other details about how you plan to host your site. This part might be unnecessary if you are unsure, and most developers will help you get started with hosting. Some developers even have hosting plans they can use to help you quickly go from test site to production. If you don’t know how to host a website or even purchase a domain, ask the developer to help you out.

Knowing technical details also helps with the design and development process. For instance, if you’re running on a Windows hosting server, the developer will probably opt for a specific programming language over others. Some languages work better with specific operating systems, so it’s easier to program with compatible languages.

It’s not easy communicating your ideas to developers and designers, but with a little time and good documentation, you can ensure that your website project turns into a bug-free, useful application. Better design and development affect your revenue, because bad design and coding leads to usability issues, bugs, and frustrated customers. Use your documentation to ensure that your business is fully functional and you don’t suffer from bad code and a cancelled project.

Add Your Review