The single most important thing when it comes to web design is content before anything else. In order to determine what content you should place on your website, which will in turn shape your page layout, navigation, etc. you need to decide what purpose your web site will fulfill.
Your goal of your web site might be:
- To establish yourself as an expert in a particular field.
- To communicate specific information to customers.
- To attract new customers.
- To make sales.
Unless you know what you want to achieve with your web site and what type of information that your users are likely to be looking for, it will be difficult, if not impossible to have an effective web design. Personally, I define an effective web site as one that helps fulfill a business goal.
In order to determine your content you need to consider your web site’s goals and your target audience. From there, you will be able to decide what type of content your users will expect and find useful. You will also be able to decide what format is most appropriate. Perhaps your users love to read blog posts? Or maybe they prefer to watch a video? Or perhaps they are a fan of infographics?
Once you know what type of content your users are likely to want included in your web design, you are able to ensure that your site is developed to allow your visitors to easily flow through your site…without giving your design a second thought.