In order to start designing your website you will need have at least an idea of what you would like your website to look like and how you would like it to function and from there be able to track goals.
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The best way to find out how you would like your website to be designed is to go out and browse the internet! Below are a few ideas on where to look on the internet.
- Look at your competitors (or soon to be competitors) websites and look if there is a general theme to websites in your industry.
- Think about other products that your target market would likely buy, what do their websites look like?
- What is the general look and feel of the websites that you like shopping from? This is important!
- What is the latest and greatest from some big eCommerce players? Apple.com, Target.com, Amazon.com, Eddiebauer.com, etc... They have probably spent millions in online research that you can extract in just minutes of browsing their site.
Just as important, if not more important, is how your site will function. Some examples of what functions are:
- What links will be on your home page?
- What will be your call to actions?
- Will your categories be in your top, right or left menu?
- Will your site use Guided Navigation?
- Will there be a search bar?
In addition to the above questions, you will have learned a little about how you want your site to function based on your design discovery.