Website Design

The Secret to Purposeful Website Design

April 2016
Che Stevenson

What is the secret to purposeful website design? Well the answer is pretty boring really: planning.

I can hear you yawning from all the way over here. And I can just see your mouse hovering over the back button! But if you stick with me you'll see that a little bit of planning goes a long way.

You see, if we just jump into a website design looking at the surface first we are missing an opportunity to appreciate the real reason for the site's existence and to design so that it fully realises this potential.

That's the fundamental problem with 'site factories' like Shopify and Wix: we look at them and go 'That looks great, wouldn't it be awesome if my site looked like that!'. Then we proceed to shoehorn our needs into this shiny new box without stepping back and figuring out if that box is really fit for purpose.

The process for 'Purposeful Website Design' as outlined above starts at the most abstract strategic level and proceeds up to the specific design in such a way that the fundamental needs of the website are met.

At the strategy stage we determine what are the success factors that will determine whether the site is a winner or not. We get a solid understanding of the users and the outcomes that we want to see from the site.

With the strategy bedded down we outline the requirements in a broad scope document that is a simple written reference for what we are trying to do.

Next the site structure is mapped out so we can see where all of the areas of the site are placed and how they interlink.

Only now do we get close to a design, with a simple wireframe mockup of key pages of the site. Wireframes force us to focus on layout and useability without being distracted by colours, fonts, and design elements.

And finally, with everything clearly planned, structured, and mapped out, we can overlay the specific design style and brand guidelines. This is usually very easy by this stage, and we can purely focus on creating a beautiful and functional realisation of the site structure.

This process is clear and purposeful, leading to website designs that meet their stated objectives and are fully fit for purpose. To us, this is the only way to design websites. We don't do it any other way.

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A tasty new Shopify store for popular peanut brittle brand

Peanut brittle addiction is real, and fans of popular local brand Bendigo Brittle had been crying out for the opportunity to buy their favorite sweets online. We worked with owner Greta to create a brand new Shopify store that is truly befitting of the best brittle in town.

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A fresh new look and user-friendly Shopify design for kids’ ecommerce brand

Tiny Sprout is a popular online retailer of clothing, gifts and accessories for children and babies. Their existing website was functional, but they came to us because they were looking to radically overhaul their website with a fresh new look and a more user-friendly design for their customers. It was time to show off our Shopify skills again!

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Brand new website for a business in hibernation mode during the COVID-19 lockdown

When Jen and Kirstie first contacted us, their short-term property management business had been forced into hibernation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not letting that get them down, they decided to use that time to build a completely new website - with a booking function - in order to be ready for guests once restrictions were lifted.

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