There are six major questions you need to ask yourself during the planning phase of a web design project. All this is against a background where proper website design should always be preceded by careful planning. But you are also likely to be more successful in the planning if you are guided by the relevant questions. We venture, then, to look at six such questions, whose answers can guide your web design planning process. And without any further ado, the six questions you need to ask yourself during the planning phase of a web design project include:

What is the target audience for the website? The answer to this question would tell you several important things. It would, for one, tell you how you should go about generating content for the website, and how you should go about creating layouts and other aesthetic schemes for the website. Simply put by way of example, what would be considered ideal design for a website targeting a youthful audience would probably be different from what would be considered ideal design for a website targeting an older audience. Of course, most websites are designed for the ‘general audience’ with no particular demographic group in mind, in terms of targeted users. Yet when you come to think of it, there are certain groups of people who tend to use certain types of websites more than others. Those should be viewed as the target audiences for such sites. All said and done, having worked out the nature of the target audience for a website, the next step should be to come up with a site that fully accommodates those people.

What is the website’s geographical scope/relevance? In this regard, we may be looking at local, national, regional or international websites. Just like the question on the nature of the target audience, this one too has a bearing on content generation, layouts and aesthetic schemes. If you are creating an international website, for instance, you need to give it an international ‘look and feel’. Later, you may need to deploy technology to detect the countries where visitors are logging from, and then proceed to serve them content relevant to them.

What are the objectives of the website? In this regard, a website whose objective is to pass along certain information is likely to call for a different approach to design than one whose objective is to sell stuff.

How much money do you have for website maintenance? Here, if you have adequate resources for website design, you may be in a position to afford inclusion of ‘bells and whistles’ in it. On the other hand, if you have limited resources, you’d probably have on your shoulders the heavy task of trying to stretch the funds, in order to get the best possible site for that amount of money.

How often is the website’s content expected to change? If you are creating a static website, your needs are likely to be different from those of a person trying to create a dynamic website (one whose content changes every passing minute). The latter, for instance, may be forced to invest in a user-friendly content management system, to ensure that the website’s users have the chance to change the content by themselves as need arises.

What is the potential for the website’s future growth? This will tell you, among other things, what sort of web hosting package to sign up for, whether or not to include dynamic content management systems and so on. An organizational website which is only put in place to let the general public know about the organization and its operations is, for instance, not likely to grow significantly over time. On the other hand, a retail web design Northern Ireland (one where stuff is sold) is likely to grow significantly over time, as more and more products are added – hence the need for scalability.