Trying something new with your design services is always a little intimidating. Whether you’re using a new tool, presenting what you’ve created to your client in a new way, or trying out an aesthetic you’ve never used before.
Designing websites strategically is no different. You know you can design sites that look great, but the pressure of getting them to perform well might make you a little nervous.
That’s why, today we’re going to go over steps you can take to succeed at designing your first strategic website.
Create Realistic Expectations
First, get realistic about your expectations and the expectations of your clients. If it’s your first time really focusing on a strategy, don’t promise yourself or a client that you’ll get specific results.
Instead, just be satisfied knowing that it’s going to be more effective than the websites you’ve designed in the past and allow yourself to learn from the experience.
On a similar note, be patient with yourself. If your client wants their website to get them higher conversion rates when it comes to email opt-ins, try not to get frustrated with yourself if you’re not sure exactly how to do that.
Instead, do some research, look at what more experienced business owners are doing, or ask someone who is great at strategic design. Something you can start doing right now to learn more about what works and what doesn’t is to experiment on your own website.
Plan Out Your First Strategic Website
Once you’re ready to dive in, take time to plan out the way you’re going to do it. There are a lot of steps that go into designing a strategic website.
To mention a few, first you need to understand your client’s goals. You can’t design a truly effective site without understanding what effective means to them, so that’s always the next step. Then, you need to know what their current situation looks like. Doing so will help you understand where improvements need to be made and create an effective case study after the project is complete. Then comes planning the perfect strategy for every page, based on what that page will prime them to do.
Finally, you can dive into the design and do the part you’re used to. And after that comes things like presenting your work, teaching your client what they need to know, and finding out the results you’ve created in their business.
As you can probably imagine, if you go in without a plan, you’re likely to end up overwhelmed. For your first project, map everything out step-by-step before you even think about diving in.
Review Your Design
Then, once you’ve implemented your strategy, give yourself some time to take a step back and review how you’ve done:
- Is there anything about the process you’d like to do differently next time?
- When you look back at the results, what worked and what didn’t?
- What promises can you start making to your clients?
Taking some time to reflect will ensure you get better for each and every website you design in the future.
To get off to a good start designing strategic and effective websites, grab the checklist!