After years of trying various techniques and workflows I’ve settled on three key areas that I focus on at the very beginning of nearly every web development process.
I prefer a classic outline, but many people like more visual tools such as one of the following:
There are a few key things to keep in mind. Each element should have a unique label. There should be a clear hierarchies and relationships between elements. Every page should be represented, and every element should represent a page.
Navigation is the superhighway of your website. With your main navigation, users will infer the structure of your website, get around, quickly determine relevance, start an exploration or abandon you. Taking time to consider the best form of navigation for your site early will inform the design process, provide context for the site map and hold you accountable to your plans.
Home Page Content
Last and perhaps least, I like to start with an inventory of all the ideas a developer might have for her homepage. What is sacred, what is forbidden and what is tempting or intriguing? A complete inventory will inform the wireframe and eventually become the basis for not just the homepage design but the header and footer of the entire website.
The following is a brief list of suggestions to cover when discussing the home page:
- Social Links
- Welcome Text
- Calls to Action
- Contact Information