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When embarking on a new website project it’s beneficial to both client and agency that you know what it takes to prepare for a kick-off meeting. With insight into what you need and a bit of preparation can make for a successful start to any project.
We know it can be really daunting deciding what information to include, so we asked Spindogs designer Clare Treverrow to tell us her top tips and all the considerations you should be making.

1. Brand

One of the most important things to assess before starting a website project is your brand. Is it developed enough? Do you have brand guidelines? Does your brand have enough depth to give a clear visual direction for the website?

We use your unique brand assets like colour palettes, fonts, photography and graphics to create a unique site that reflects your brand on digital platforms. If you only have a logo, and a limited colour palette, it gives us less direction, which can result in a more generic end result.

We are always happy to offer our branding and discovery services to get your brand to the perfect position to start your website, but we always advise doing this before starting your website and never at the same time, as this often results in a longer process at the cost of deadlines.

2. Photography

A huge part of what makes a good website engaging is your photography. Audiences respond to bespoke photography because they can tell it’s authentic. This can reflect well on your brand and builds more trust with your users. Asses your photography and ask yourself questions like,

  • Is your photography in line with your brand?
  • Is up to date enough to reflect where you are now and in the near future?
  • Do you have enough to populate a website?
  • Does it have a consistent art direction?

Try to gather your photography in a central library so that you’re able to give us access at the start of the design process so we have a range of real photography to use. We’re always happy to help you answer these questions and can work with trusted partners to deliver new photography if needed, but again we advise having this discussion before you kick off your website project.

3. Assess website pain points

It’s important to identify where your current site needs improvement. Familiarise yourself with user journeys your customers take. Take note of how many clicks it takes to complete a process, how fluid the user journey is and how easy it is to find and access key information.

The best way to spot these pain points is by talking to your users. How easy do they find the site? What devices do they use? Could they find the information they need?

Identifying these pitfalls early allows us to come up with solutions in the design phase. This helps us to learn from the previous site’s mistakes and turn current weaknesses into strengths.

4. What you like visually and why

The more you can articulate what you prefer visually, the more we can help you achieve a website that is unique to you. It can help to show us sites or parts of sites from other industries that you think work well. It can sometimes be useful to highlight things you want to avoid as well as things you like. This can help aid a broader discussion and gain a unified direction in terms of visual style.

5. Sitemap

When it comes to planning your website, creating a sitemap is a key step in the process. They help to ensure you’ve accounted for all the pages needed for your site. They also help you assess your current content and ask yourself if your content needs be updated, combined or deleted?

Try to assign each of your pages in the sitemap with a page type. We will provide you with a quoted number of page types within the scope of the project, so it’s good to check all page types are covered.

We are happy to help with site mapping sessions, but if you prefer to do it yourself, having a good handle on your site structure and content before a kick off workshop means you’ll be armed with answers to a lot of questions we’ll be asking. There are many site mapping programs online and offline, free and premium, so it’s easy to find one that suits your needs.

Are you looking to embark on a new web project and need a little guidance? To find out more about what we can do for your business get in touch below.

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