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What to Consider When Designing a Website

The Rickie Report receives numerous emails and phone calls from readers asking a variety of questions. We’ve invited Caren Hackman, author of “Graphic Design Exposed”, to be a guest columnist to answer some of them.  Today’s topic is what to consider when designing a website.  


Designing a Website



Question:  I am considering designing a website. Where should I begin?


I enjoy designing beautiful websites. Well-designed sites are enjoyable to visit because they have a simple user interface.  A great deal of planning should take place before building a website. All of the planning and content preparation will serve you well once the actual construction of the site begins.


• Write a short mission statement for your website. For example, “The goal of my website is to attract donations for a pet shelter.”

• Allow the mission statement to guide the information design. If donations are a primary reason for building the site, be certain that the donation button is obvious. Note: After the site is launched please test the ENTIRE donation process to confirm that it is streamlined and intuitive.

• Organize all of the content that will populate the website into a logical, clear, concise outline. The outline will become the architecture for the website. Many individuals, even super-tech-savvy ones handle this process with index cards posted on a wall.

• Once the outline has been reviewed, add content for each page.

• Check your work by asking yourself:

– Am I using the most conventional terms for links? For example, if you are selling take out food, it might be clever to call the shopping cart a picnic basket. However, customers will be searching for the conventional shopping cart.

– Are all of the planned links relevant? Avoid visual clutter by removing all unnecessary elements.

– Is the navigation clear? When the visual design process is underway be certain to create a consistent link style throughout the site so visitors can identify navigation easily. This is especially important for tablet users where the arrow curser will not turn into a hand.

– Determine how site visitors will get help or ask questions.


Now you can put on your hardhat and begin construction. If you are not constructing the website yourself, all of this preparation will help guide the person who is working with you to meet your goal:  An easy to read, easy to navigate website.



Please send your questions, no more than 250 words to:




Caren Hackman is a graphic designer and fine artist living in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. and author of  a book about Graphic Design and Good Business practice.  Be sure to check out Caren’s wonderful artwork –  Caren is a talented artist in her own right!  She is a founding member of the Artists of Palm Beach County.


For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420


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