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The importance of client goals from a web designer’s perspective

Steve McKinney
Steve
Steve is CandidSky's lead front-end developer. He makes things look great, and believes in building responsive websites with the core principles of usability and simplicity.

March 3, 2016

3 minutes

Goals determine the route any design should take.

Goals, or objectives, serve to guide your approach and keep you focused, particularly when building a website. It might seem like common sense but the look, feel and presentation of a page will always depend on its established goals. Without them, a designer’s work has very little direction.

Goals serve everyone involved in a project as a necessary reference point for any quick decisions that need to be made along the way. This post will detail why you need them and how you can come up with your own.

You must have one primary goal

Saying that you must only have one may seem a little strong, but in our experience it’s the best strategy. Look at it this way: if the website only did one thing successfully, what would it be?

As you’d expect, a user’s first impressions and reactions to a website with a goal to sell will be different to those of a website that provides news.

What if I don’t have goals?

If you don’t have goals, work with your designer to identify them. They are absolutely vital because they rationalise the decisions made during a project. If your designer has nothing specific to work towards they can only make informed assumptions at best.

You know your business and industry best, and this knowledge feeds naturally into a plan of attack. The role of a good designer is to tease the key information out, gather it together, and translate it in to highly relevant goals that drive the project forward.

A successful project

If your goal is to sell products, yet you are presented with a design that promotes your blog, you will be disappointed. You would also question why the designer thought the design would help your business grow. By setting a primary goal you, and your designer, agree on the result you want to achieve before any work is carried out.

However, setting a primary goal doesn’t rule out having a blog or any other content. The designer’s intention for this may be to prioritise and present content in such a way that leads the user through the site on a predefined path.

How to identify goals

As mentioned earlier, to determine your main goal ask yourself, ‘if the website only did one thing successfully, what would it be?’

You’ll probably identify lots of things that will contribute to achieving your goal when defining your primary, it’s well worth noting them down too. Blog areas, help articles, reviews and testimonials can all contribute to achieving your primary goal in their own way.

Start thinking about this information in levels of priority to your business. and what exactly is helping your customers make the decision to use your services. Once you know that, talk to your designer. Their strength lies in understanding the information and presenting it in the best way possible.

A few things to think about

  • Who are your most frequent buyers?
  • What information do people seek about your product or service?
  • Do you get better results when people speak to an advisor?
  • How much do people rely on your reviews or testimonials?
  • What stops people from purchasing your service?

 

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