Cindy Leonard Consulting recently re-designed and launched a new website for Beth Kanter, internationally recognized trainer, facilitator, and author. We worked with Eve Simon Creative, who did a wonderful job creating a visual design for the site.
Beth impressed us with her organization and preparedness for the re-design process. In fact, based of 20+ years of working with clients on similar projects, she stands out as the most organized of any client so far.
From this project, here are tips for how your organization can be well prepared for a website re-design:
- Create a clear navigation structure in advance. Most web designers and developers are willing to help with this process, but it is extremely helpful when a client comes to the table with thoughtful and deliberate ideas for the navigation and informational architecture. Beth created her desired navigation structure in a shared Google Doc, which made it easy to edit and to make small tweaks on the fly.
- Have logo and branding ready to go. Beth hired a graphic designer to create a new logo and to select branding elements such as fonts and a color scheme. Many organizations have a logo, but fewer have branding guidelines – an official list of fonts, colors, and other guidance for marketing collateral. This type of documentation will also come in handy for employees who create marketing documents, presentations, etc.
- Organize your content. Nothing holds up a website project like content creation. Some of Beth’s content was brought over from the old site, including 15 years of blog posts, but she took the lead in writing and organizing the content for the home page and sub-pages. Most impressively, she creating a Google Doc for each page of content to be loaded, adding the text and referencing layout elements to be added. She put links to her Flickr account right in the content docs so that photos could be easily downloaded and inserted on the pages. Finally, she put a link to each content page in her main Google Doc that displayed the navigation menu. It was really easy to open the navigation guidance, click through to each content page, grab the content, and place it on each web page.
- Be responsive to questions. Beth made herself available via email and phone for questions. We also had several Zoom meetings where we shared the screen, analyzed the new site, and made small design and content adjustments. It never took more than a day for Beth to answer questions, regardless of the communication method, and this kept the process moving along smoothly.
- Be open to suggestions. Both Eve Simon Creative and Cindy Leonard Consulting made various suggestions for improving the design and content throughout the development process. Beth was very open to ideas and brought many of her own to the table. The entire process proved to be very collaborative overall.
Is your organization considering a website re-design? What steps will you need to take in order to be ready for working with a web design company?