A Guide For Developing Website Elements
Ever notice a sleek website that is modern with vivid images, trending thin-line icons and a catching color palette — yet the content is super generic? Makes you feel like you landed on an over-branded, disingenuous, over-night start up. When you read closely its nothing more than a pretty façade empty of real content.
Granted, aesthetically that’s better than a content heavy site that makes you cringe at first sight. We’ve all seen those too. Subconsciously there is no decision to be made. No one is going to take the time to read it or digest the overload.
Both scenarios are very real, but if you’re my client I hope it’s never you! I forbid it! (I sincerely will not make ugly websites. We reserve the right to make your website and functional.) The key is simple: good content development.
“The content development phase of building a new website is the most important.”
~ Sarah Garfinkel, Creative Director at the Avodah Design Studio.
LOGO & BRAND
We build brand-based design and sites. Brand is more than the logo, it’s the entire design kit: identity elements, aesthetics, voice and tone of written and video content, market approach, etc. We use these to develop a site that suits you, your clientele and your niche.
So the first step is to ensure you have an updated, current logo and brand. If you don’t, we will ask you to develop this first.
Based on your market approach we’ll incorporate your visuals. Images speak louder than words. Whether photos or illustrations, quality is important. We work with a range of professional photographers for photo shoots, illustration artists for original work, or as a last resort customized stock art.
You need to give thought to the entire site, not just the home page. With your site map in hand, mentally walk through the pages and what they should each communicate. Make notes and discuss this with your designer.
Note: The digital images need to be formatted appropriately with a resolution of 300dpi+ and a color quality that lends itself to whatever editing may be needed. The subject matter needs to be appropriate. A photo of the high-end firm’s CEO in his workout clothes isn’t a good fit.
COPY (“THE TEXT”)
Let’s be clear: you as the client are responsible to provide the text content for your website. That means you need to write, draft and edit the digital file for us. If you need help, we can add into your contract the budget for copywriting and/or editing support. For some this is highly advisable.
A digital MSWord document is requested outlining everything from the big print (headers, sub text, paragraphs) all the way down to the small print text (button words, footer details, social media links, contact info, legal info, etc.). Your document should be proofread and edited before you send it to us.
Why is the language and tone of your copy important? Here are some examples: Your market approach needs a friendly, down-to-earth tone and that’s not your style. Your industry uses highly technical language but you need to reduce the amount of text to be easy on the eyes (so that people will actually read it). You want to communicate with your company/organization’s personality which is different from your personality. We’ve worked in each of these situations bringing our copywriter into the project, and we’re happy to do the same for you.
That’s the simple run down!
Overwhelming? Need help? Not a problem. We can add into your contract the budget and timeline for a content development manager to give that extra assistance. The part that we cannot hire out on your behalf is active communication. If you’re hard to get a hold of or there’s a lack of timely follow through in decisions or communication, we may request that you put someone else as the point person to ensure the project runs smoothly.
Lastly, be familiar with your terms of contract. At Avodah Design we don’t add hidden fees. However, we will communicate what your contract covers and what it does not cover, always providing you the opportunity to add services and their additional charges if you find you need more support in the process.