29
Jan
2018

Web Design Tips: Understand The Purpose of Your Website

by Keith Hodges, Content Strategist
Branding Design Topics Marketing Tips News & Notes Web Design Website Design
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man contemplating a web design layout

Remember when you were in school and you had a bunch of people constantly asking what you were going to become? What you were going to major in, where you were going to school, what job you were going to train for… sometimes it felt like the list of questions went on forever. They had a simple purpose, though, which was trying to figure out what role you were going to fill once you became an adult.

Well, now the roles are reversed. You get to be the adult asking the questions, and your website is the blank slate that has to be molded to fit the purpose you need.

What is The Purpose of Your Website?

A website can be, and do, almost anything. However, you need to decide what your particular website’s purpose is, and to design it according to that end goal. For example, is your website’s purpose to entertain? Inform? To sell a product, or to sell a service? To act as a catalog? Or, is it a personal website?

These are all options, and none of them would be an incorrect choice. You can even make a website that has multiple purposes, or a blending of purposes. However, before you start designing, you need to know what the website is going to do, and what goals it needs to accomplish. Think of your website like an athlete. You want it to win a gold medal, but in which event? Because you’re going to use an entirely different strategy as a weightlifter than you would use as a long-distance runner, and if you’re a swimmer your training regimen won’t look anything like the one used by a javelin thrower.

Build To Your Purpose

Once you’ve decided on your website’s purpose, you can start brainstorming how you want it to look, and what strategies you’re going to use in order to achieve that purpose.

For example, you have decided your website’s job is to showcase your gutter cleaning and landscaping business. So you choose a theme that’s friendly, using lots of green around the edges. So you decide to make your landing page a welcome video, which shows clients what they can expect from your company. You use clear, easy-to-navigate menu buttons, and you make certain that your contact information is on every page so you don’t lose any potential customers who click away when they can’t find how to make a service call.

Alternatively, say that you want your website to be a blog, whose purpose is to entertain. Say you use it to write movie reviews in a snarky tone that resembles a slightly edgier Mystery Science Theater 3,000. So, you set up your blog, and you create categories like trash firethis week in flops, or the best worst movies you’ll ever see. In this case, you want to intrigue your readers and get them to explore, rather than cutting up your content into easily digestible cubes and putting everything on a silver platter.

Both of these websites will look vastly different, and a design choice that will work for one will be significantly less effective on the other. That is the power of purpose. It shapes every aspect of your website and informs nearly every choice you make when it comes to your content, your layout, and even your color scheme.

Building a website isn’t easy, especially if you’re not familiar with all the ins and outs. If you know your website’s purpose, but you’re not sure where to go from there, we can help bring your vision in line with reality, and ensure your website does exactly what you want it to.

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