Determine the style of your new online home with an effective design for your personal blog or business. Distill the best elements by following this short proven plan for successful websites.
New websites can take dozens of visual directions. This exercise is an essential step in choosing a style that resonates with your audience. It also helps resist the temptation of settling for a currently trendy style which may not communicate your message to market over a longer term. It’s not hocus-pocus, it’s about focus!
However, before your make a decision about style you may want to revisit the first (and most important) lesson: How to Define and Attract your Target Audience.
This simple technique is called “style mapping”. It’s a proven formula for developing a website that works. It’s a fun and productive exercise to reveal:
- The essence of your brand
- The objective or purpose of your site
- Your personal tastes
How do I create my website style?
1) What is the essence of your brand?
Write a clear, specific statement outlining what you value about your business and what do you do well. Don’t be shy – put your best self forward!
2) What is the purpose of your website?
The style of your website should complement its function. An e-commerce site is highly functional and wouldn’t work well in a loose casual style. An educational website for kids might not be engaging if it were black & white.
3) What are your personal tastes?
Browse the web for examples of the sites and design styles you might like to mimic. Save these images to a folder on your desktop and name it “Inspiration.” Save the urls for future reference.
No limits here! Throw anything in there you like or you feel will resonate with your target audience or ideal ‘character’.
Now that you’ve answered the three questions – measure them against one another to tie this research together and establish your website style.
Check the links and images you added to your inspiration folder for question 3, and compare these to your answers for questions 1 and 2 (above).
Ask yourself these questions to connect the dots:
- Which images in my inspiration folder would complement my brand?
- Which images in my inspiration folder would complement the purpose or objective of my website?
The Final Two Steps
- Record your answers so you have an reference folder for developing your website in a style you like and also one that resonates with your audience.
- Add the links to at least 3 websites you like from your initial research.
You have now mapped a website style that works for your audience and for you.
Remember to have some fun with this process!
Talk to you soon,