Whether you’re thinking it’s finally time to establish your online presence or are looking to refresh your online identity, getting started on a new web design project can be more than a little daunting. Fortunately, by putting in some extra legwork during the exploration phase, you can ensure the project runs smoothly from start to finish.
Making sure you communicate with the professionals responsible for your redesign and align on all the points below will ensure expectations are correctly set throughout the process — leaving you with a site you love and freeing you from headaches throughout the redesign process.
Questions to discuss with your web designer before you begin:
1. Does my logo need an update?
If your logo is seriously outdated, even the best website refresh won’t be able to hide it. A good rule of thumb is to review your logo every 5 years to make sure it looks current and represents your brand identity well. Keep in mind that logos now need to work across all mediums, including mobile. A cluttered, illegible, or lo-res logo just won’t cut it.
If you need a logo refresh, make sure to factor that in as an an additional project pre-website refresh. The new logo’s look will then factor into the decisions the web designer makes about the site’s overall color story and aesthetic.
2. Do you have a brand style guide?
A style guide codifies all the essentials about how a brand expresses their unique identity. It typically includes info on the brand voice, logo usage, taglines, colors, photography treatment, and more.
Having a brand style guide is essential in making sure all project stakeholders are aligned on their expectations for the final product. If a brand book doesn’t exist or doesn’t specify the right color values in a company’s logo, it can lead to misunderstandings like a developer picking the wrong hex code in his or her iteration.
If you’re working with an agency to help with your project and you don’t have a brand style guide, it’s important that you work with them to create a basic one before the website project begins.
At a minimum, all good visual style guides should include:
- Rules for correct logo usage
- Hex color codes for web.
(Note: Pantone codes or CMYK are for print only!)
- Designated brand and web fonts
- Preferred photography style
- Graphics style
- Any associated iconography
3. What business goals do you want this website to help you with?
What do you hope your website will help you accomplish that it isn’t doing in its current state? It is important to really highlight the top three items that are most essential to driving conversions on your website so that it is clear to everyone working on the project.
Some examples of typical website goals could include:
- Drive more of your website visitors to a fill out a contact form, to call, or to submit an inquiry
- Decrease bounce rates
- Increase time spent on the site
- Decrease steps needed to convert
- Increase purchase value order
- Increase awareness of specific product or promotional offerings
- Better represent your company’s branding and mission
4.Who is responsible for sourcing images and photos?
Every brand, and therefore every website, has unique photography and graphic needs.
A discussion before the project begins should include an audit of the existing imagery, video, graphics, and marketing collateral. Based on your goals, assess whether the current assets are good enough to carry over to the new design or whether the sourcing of new materials is needed.
If the assets need to be refreshed, make sure to discuss what they need to look like and who is responsible for their execution.
For B2C sites, custom photography shoots can help drive deep authentic connection with your brand. For B2B websites, stock imagery is often the best approach. Sites like Getty, iStock, or Shutterstock offer lifestyle imagery than can help give your site and brand the right vibe.
Organizing Your Insights
Once all of these issues have been reviewed, it is best to then document their answers in a single brief so all stakeholders have a codified vision for the final product. The brief should be measured against all milestones to ensure the project is staying on track to hit the originally stated goals.
Feel ready to discuss your vision for the future of your company’s website but not sure where to turn? We can help. Our full suite of web design, UX design, web development, and branding services can help you build an online presence that attracts attentions, represents what you stand for, and helps drive business goals.
Get in touch today to chat about how we can help you take your site to the next level.