Website brainstorming also known as WEBSTORMING!
Okay, not really. I don’t think anyone says “webstorming”, much less is willing to scream it. It’s fun to daydream, but we all tend to dance around the deceptively complex task of putting our thoughts onto paper in a constructive way. I’m going to tell you right now: if you don’t you’ll probably regret it.
I don’t think there’s a business out there today that doesn’t want a website. Most are willing to put up with an out-of-the-box solution that doesn’t quite look as unique or professional as the business it represents. I can guarantee, though, that this company is either going to reach a point where it outgrows that solution or finds itself held back from growing because of it.
Therefore, at some point you’re going to find yourself looking to hire a web professional, a business or freelancer to do it for you. If you’re reading this, you’re likely looking for advice about this period of the transition. Otherwise, you might be here because you’ve got the capital to establish a website out of the gate. Regardless, congratulations for being far ahead of the curve!
Anyone can say “I want a website that sells stuff.” I’m sure you, much like I, have experienced that one awkward family dinner where an uncle with the next million dollar “anti-snore acupressure ring” idea is lamenting their inability to present their idea to the world. “If only I had a website,” they drone depressedly. Like you, I’m inexplicably drawn to help them in their time of need and offer them the benefit of my expertise. Then, promptly hate myself for doing so.
Why? Because they don’t know what they want.
(Also, your uncle is late. It already exists and I’m not joking. Look!)
Don’t fool yourself into believing this notion. If you have hired a web designer before, or had a friend that did, and it say it was a breeze: that’s because the designer/developer was good. You, or your friend, probably had a firm understanding of what you wanted accomplished beforehand, as well. So, let’s work to plan out a concept. This concept will be an e-commerce website selling merchandise for your brother’s independent film that’s coming out.
Your brother’s work has finally paid off! He’s got his first major independent film in editing and there are plans to take it to film festivals around the world. Before he can do that, though, he needs to get his presence online established beyond his social media efforts. He needs a website that can sell merchandise and report news on where the film is at in development and future festival dates.
We have a broad idea of what the site is going to do, but we can start to pull this web-onion to see how many layers there are to the core. I do this by sitting down with him and talking to him about what he would like to see his website do and then we branch out from there. You can do this yourself with a friend or by using the questions I’ll ask here.
Right now we know:
- Sell merchandise
- Report news
- The film is going to film festivals
- Social media efforts are underway
We can begin to flesh out from here. For time’s sake I’m just going to break these points down with the questions I might ask.
NOTE: You don’t need to create a typical “bubble” brainstorm chart. You can just outline them like I have.
- Will you be selling physical and digital goods?
- Subscriptions and/or single purchases?
- Are you selling your products on your own or through another website?
- Will you be reporting news hourly? Daily? Weekly?
- Is the news going to be entered on the site by you?
- Do you expect your site to update your social media?
- Should the site have a calendar of events?
- Interview contact forms?
- Newsletter sign-up?
- Should people be able to connect to your site with their Facebook/Gmail accounts?
- Are you going to be creating special web content for social media? Ex. Videos, music, interviews, etc.
- Do I want my site to be mobile optimized?
- Should the site support multiple languages?
- Is it important to take into consideration blind or deaf users? (Short answer: yes)
- Do I need to take product images or secure stock photography?
- Will I be writing all of my own site information?
We’re almost ready to start finding that special web-someone now that we’ve got the website brainstorming session out of the way. Meet us back here in two weeks when we discuss the next steps on the road to your website: deciding how much you want to tackle yourself or how much you need to be willing to spend to have someone else do it for you.
Thanks for stopping by!