Audience, site plan, and steps to take


“At the end of the day, if you’re building a web site for a particular group of people, their opinion is the only one that matters.”

{taking quotes and ideas directly, or nearly, from the reading this week:

 Web Guiding Principles

There are four overarching guidelines that, if constantly considered, will guide both the planning and development process and keep you on track. They are:

  1. Know Your Audience:

age, geography, income level, education, culture, browser, device, technical expertise, and expectations to name only a few.

it could be helpful to make a persona and keep it posted near the computer. also, plan out some scenarios the user might go through.

2. Less is More


focus on providing the content that your audience expects

a good example would be the difference of and they both started as search engines, but who remained true to that expectation even with expanding…?

3. Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

it is easy to get distracted—by design, by technology, or by process, or by something that is ‘cool’

4. People Expect Your Site to Work Like the Rest

When people browse the Internet and visit sites such as,, or, then learn by experience where things are located(logos, navigation, account links, content), and how things look (links, headings, lists), and how they work (links, forms). When they visit your site they expect that yours does the same.}

Okay, let’s try it out

1. start brainstorming who and what, and just get your ideas out on paper:


2. now get a little fancier on it. make a SITE PLAN.

brainstorm who may be coming to your site. use a picture or a few, and what they will be doing there

(are they new? what do they expect? are they contributing? what do I include to meet everyone’s needs?)

site map

3. chunk it.

now take all those random pages and see if you can’t make them into chunks that make sense.

now take those chunks and try to give them the most user-friendly names possible. aka: ‘about’, ‘news’, ‘updates’… use terms that the audience and people know.

4. name your pages

make sure the name is search engine optimized. have it be specific to what the user may be searching for.

{from the reading recommendations

  • Names should be short, yet meaningful.
  • Names should be entirely lower-case.
  • Names should have NO SPACES.
  • Don’t use special characters}

5. specify the details

you don’t have to get crazy on it, just write down a few sentences or points of what will be on each page.


{…Check it with the client at each stage to make sure they are happy with it:

  1. First, clearly understand and record the purpose of the web site.
  2. Second, describe the audience and common tasks using personas and scenarios.
  3. Third, decide on the content of a web site, and decide how to structure that content into pages and folders.
  4. Fourth, decide on the functionality that will actually be used on your website.
  5. Finally, before you actually start coding your web site is work out the visual design of it—the page layouts, and the color scheme, etc.}

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