How to plan a website structure? Behind this apparently simplistic question actually lies the success or failure of a website creation project.
So stay tuned if you want to make your website creation project a success!
hello, I’m your host Kaycinho, I’m a digital alchemist, and today we’re going to see how to plan a website structure so that your website creation project can actually be completed.
Many roads lead to Rome, so this is not the only way to do it, but with a few years of experience, I’m sharing with you a simple yet effective way to tackle the task.
But before we hop on the computer, let’s see what’s at stake.
How to plan a website structure?
1.Why is the website structure important?
Planning is crucial when it comes to creating a website. Especially if you are charging for it.
But even if you don’t, you need to know what you’re going to have to build in order to know the resources you should allocate to the project.
We’re talking about human resources but finances also. And it all starts with a plan.
Would you consider building a house without having some kind of plan?
Well, it’s the same for a website.
The more time you spend outlining how the website will be structured, the less surprises you will get when it’s actually time to create the website.
Once again if you’re building a website for yourself, all you may lose is time, but if you’re charging for it, you will lose money, and possibly a lot.
You can use pen and paper if you wish, or if you prefer to do it on the computer you can use free tools like the Notepad on Windows, on TextEdit on the Mac.
If you want dedicated tools, there are plenty.
But to be honest I prefer to use something like Photoshop or even better: Affinity Designer, which I’ve already talked about a lot.
I love Affinity products and I’m not being paid to say that, let’s be clear about that.
If you don’t have those tools you can always use The Gimp which is completely free.
3. Brief: identify the needs
The brief is very important because this is where the outline of the website starts.
You can make it as long and complicated as you wish, but I like to keep things simple, so basically, what you need is:
First: to gather the stakeholders, if it’s just you than you’re already there, but if there are several people that have their say, make sure you plan a meeting ahead of time.
Next: start brainstorming:
- Which content is absolutely crucial on the website?
- Which type of content would be nice to have while not essential?
- What actions do you want the users to perform?
If possible interview people from the company, but also customers or potential customers.
Also, make sure you think about the user experience. You’ll see what I mean in a moment.
4. Check the competition
Once you’ve got the initial brief, make sure you google the keywords for which the company wants to be found.
I’m talking about long tail keywords, of course.
Let’s take an example, let’s say you will be building a website for a coworking space.
So you would type “coworking space” + the name of the city.
Now look for the top websites, and start analyzing the content and the structure they have.
If they’re ranking on the first page of Google, they must be doing something right. Right?
SEO is much more than that, and that’s beyond the scope of today’s post, but it’s important to take it into consideration.
But also, from a user experience, and logical point of view, it may give you a different perspective than what came out from the initial brainstorming session.
Compare the results of your analysis to the website structure that initially came out of the brainstorming session, and make the necessary amends.
If your clients does not understand why you want to change the structure, the competitors analysis will bring objective points to the table, in the interest of the client.
I’m not talking about a long and detailed analysis, but you should talk the time to review the competition.
If you’re creating the website for a company, at this stage you will know exactly what the website will be about and it will also help you evaluate the costs and timeframe of the project.
5. Re-organize the navigation
Re-organize the structure with the end user in mind.
You should try to limit clutter as much as possible. In that perspective, try to organize the navigation of the website so that the first level has no more than 7 elements.
Because our short term memory apparently feels better when there are less than 7 elements.
If you are familiar with my content, you know that I like teaching with concrete examples.
So let’s build on our coworking space example. Let’s imagine the client is a new coworking space called Coworqq and they want us to create their very first website. Let’s take a look:
How to plan a website structure: initial content
How to plan a website structure: first structure
How to plan a website structure: re-organized structure
How to plan a website structure: low fidelity prototype
How to plan a website structure: final design
You now know to plan a website structure!
So, I hope that this video showed you how to plan a website structure. I do hope that it will help you for your website creation projects.
If there are other web design and website creation topics you’d like me to cover, please let me know in the comments.
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So, that’s it for this tutorial, I hope to see you around here or on the Youtube channel, and in the meantime, don’t forget to invest in YOUR success!