When I first saw this video it had me in stitches. While preposterous — the existence of a translation box to help bridge the communication gap when working with a web developer — there’s a kernel of truth at its fictional core. If you have ever experienced one of these circular, unintelligible conversations during a website design project, it can leave you discouraged and confused.
Where’s Star Trek’s Universal Translator when you need it? Actually Japan’s leading cell phone carrier, NTT Docomo, unveiled its real-time speech-to-speech translation service that works both in person and over the phone. But that’s a different translation issue.
The key to effective web design is user experience, how your target market will interact with your site to buy your service or product. Design awards are great, but it’s customers that pay the bills. If you are struggling with communicating your vision to your web designer or developer, consider these three tips:
1. Stay True To Your Brand
Before any web designing or coding begins, there should be a creative brief. This document clearly articulates the personality of your company brand and how it will translate into user experience. It may be tempting to skip this step. A long list of adjectives and feelings to describe your company may feel like a waste of time. However, it’s fundamental for a designer to effectively capture your company’s essence. It is also important to note that your brand isn’t what your perception but your customers‘ point of view. Be prepared to answer questions about value proposition and target market. If you’re not clear about your brand is different, seek professional help. Or, you’ll spin your web design wheels.
2. Map Out Your Vision
Clearly articulating what you want your website to accomplish is more than half the communication battle. Are you selling widgets or a service? How will your site accomplish a transaction (whether an eCommerce shopping cart or contact form), there is a natural flow to an online sales process. We suggest you map out your vision visually. Use an online mind mapping tool like Mindjet, Freemind or Mind42 to capture your ideas. Collect and organize information your website should convey. Then connect the dots to your primary and secondary call to action. By mapping out your vision, you can start off your design meetings on a strong foundation.
3. Find Examples
Nothing is more frustrating (and perhaps frightening) to a web designer than a client who doesn’t know what they want. As you embark on your web design journey, search for examples of what you love and hate. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then samples of websites and designs will save you hours of time in a mis-communication loop. Whenever possible, make specific notes about what you like (e.g., color palette, functionality, look and feel). This will help your developer translate your vision from a web design standpoint. It will also help build functionality (the back-end coding necessary) to support it.
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Launching a website and need help in designing a user-centric approach? Or, are you redesigning your site to convert visitors to paying customers?
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