Following on from ‘DIY Websites – Planning, Part 1’, you should now have a skeleton layout of your new website.
But, a skeleton is lifeless. So, what mood should your website convey? What temperament will resonate best with your target audience? This is not so easily broken down.
Ultimately, any website is the convergence of the business and its potential customers.
You know what your business does so no need to ponder that too much, but why did you set the business up in the first place? What spawned the idea? What are you passionate about in your business and why? How do you value your customers? What’s most important to them and how do you go about satisfying their needs? How would your company react if a customer had a legitimate complaint? If the business was a person, what type of personality would it possess?
The last question might seem unnecessary. It isn’t. This is the essence of a business brand, its personality, which mixed with your passion, ethos and approach creates an overall temperament. It is this temperament that your website absolutely has to capture and convey in order to have maximum impact. Identify how your website should feel by answering such questions. This is ‘mood’.
Once you get a good feel for the mood you can go back over your list (from Part 1) and pick points where an image (could be a background, graphic, an icon or even a video) would work well to convey the associated copy. It’s important to think about where the calls to action might be whilst doing this as well. Don’t worry about the actual layout of these elements at this stage – the point is to create some kind of visual aid/ impression which is directly associated with your copy.
A business that provides a professional service, that is owned and run by an ex-corporate career person who has ambitions of employing 10, 20, 50 staff one day would need a website with a very different mood to a florist. A tradesman doesn’t need an emotive website like a restaurant or spa might.
Understand your business’ personality to reveal the temperament and mood required within the website.
Nowadays, no-one reads a website. We scan and delve into the parts which influence us the most and relate to why we’re browsing in the first place. Knowing what content each part of a website must contain and the temperament for presenting it means I can search out an impactful and memorable style.
It doesn’t always reveal itself at first. But, reflecting and planning in this way gives me the core I need; what the website needs to say, and how it needs to say it.
Now, the real fun begins… all my web designs start with the landing page.