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Planning and designing a web site

From: Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS6

Video: Planning and designing a web site

Before you dive right into designing and developing your site, you need to start to plan it out, and in order to plan it out, you need to know what the business requirements are, technical requirements, set up the user requirements, and design requirements. So lot of requirements here, but they all make a lot of sense. Starting with the business requirements, we need to ask ourselves what's the goal of the website? And really, all decisions concerning the design should be made based on the goal of the website. Are you trying to inform, persuade somebody to maybe buy something, are they trying to do something? Answer all those questions and really the result will be the content for the website.

Planning and designing a web site

Before you dive right into designing and developing your site, you need to start to plan it out, and in order to plan it out, you need to know what the business requirements are, technical requirements, set up the user requirements, and design requirements. So lot of requirements here, but they all make a lot of sense. Starting with the business requirements, we need to ask ourselves what's the goal of the website? And really, all decisions concerning the design should be made based on the goal of the website. Are you trying to inform, persuade somebody to maybe buy something, are they trying to do something? Answer all those questions and really the result will be the content for the website.

So going on from that, what are the technical requirements, what are the technical specs if you will? Well, we need to make sure the content downloads fast, we need to make sure this website is compatible across all browsers, and even across different devices, from tablets to mobile device, and we need to make sure it's optimized for search engines. And the result of that would, again, just be a document that we just need to keep in check as we start to develop, as well as test our website.

We also have user requirements, so even the user as they come to your site has certain goals in mind, and you need to make it easy for them. So you want to make sure that it's easily viewable and accessible. So you need to make sure site is uploaded, and you can see all the content, you need to make sure it's easy to use, your navigation is easy to click on, and you need to make sure that your content is appropriate for the audience. So depending on your business objectives, you'll be able to determine your audience and then your audience starts to drive the design as well.

So I'm going to get into that now, our design. So we have design requirements. We need to make sure the design is appropriate for the content. So this happens to be a designer's site, so it's going to be the elegant and slick and should work really well. We need to make sure it fits on the user's screen, again, part of those user requirements. We need to make sure it's the correct size, that the important contents "above the fold" if you will, so they don't have to scroll down for important content.

Navigation should be really straightforward. We should be able to differentiate what's a link and what's just text. We need to make sure you keep that text legible as well. So again, taking this example into consideration, we have the site, and we can see that we really want to set it up for about 1024 pixels wide by 768 pixels high, so this is sort of the minimum for a Desktop experience. We can go higher than that, but as of right now, roughly the percentage is about 12% to 14% to 16% of user's monitors are actually this size.

So we're keeping that in mind, so if I was in Photoshop I'd make my document that size, from there I'd start to establish navigation, make sure it's nice and clear. So up in that navigation bar, I am used to that as a user, and even beyond that, the copy is legible, easy to read, clear hierarchy, I can see that word create is the header there and some additional content below, the links are also different from the body copy as well. So that's how I had wanted to set it up for a Desktop. Going beyond that, we also have the URL for them to easily get to the website.

So again, we're taking our business objectives with our technical requirements, our user requirements, our design requirements, really that enables us to create this design that would be uploaded, and this is for our Desktop user experience. And we just can't forget about mobile. Because we need to see how this works on mobile, as mobile gets to become more and more popular. So this has the same criteria, we need to check the size, about 480x800 is roughly the smallest size of a mobile device, but still the navigation should be clear and clickable by a finger, quite frankly.

We need to make sure that copy is legible as well on a mobile device, considering there's going to be glare and different things, as the person is using their device maybe outside, whatever the case may be, but still accessible from a URL. So those are all the things that we need to keep in mind as we start to design our site, to ultimately make it a great experience for the end user.

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Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS6

30 video lessons · 41099 viewers

Paul Trani
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