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  • Martha MacDonald

Creating Your Navigational Draft

Updated: Feb 24

Yes, you did read that correctly. Up until now, it has been fun, you chose your product or service, name, logo, colors, and themes, but now the real work starts. Now it’s time to plan your website. Website designers often refer to this as a wireframe; this is where we take the information you want to share combined with the product or service you will be offering and begin the process of turning it into a functional website.

What does a navigational draft look like? Something like this-

Ok, so the drawing part is fun! But the work you do here will not only save you time later but help you identify any problems you may not have thought of before. The nice thing about this part of the process is it doesn’t have to be pretty; it just needs to represent what you want your web page to look like when viewed. What is most important is how people will navigate through your website to get to the information you want to share and ultimately purchase.

I know that looking at a simple navigation draft can be scary, even overwhelming, but I assure you if you buckle down and start to draw, it soon won’t be. All those great ideas you’ve imagined up until now, draw them out. Remember, no one will see these drawings unless you share them. Now is the time to explore different design styles, menu bars, and what your pages will look like. Keep in mind; you need to think of how people will navigate from one page to the next.

When I first started designing websites, a friend offered this tip, and I still use it to this day, with my reMarkable being my paper. Take a plain piece of paper and imagine that it is your website. What do you want the people who visit to see?

Each piece of paper is a new page of your website; start sketching out how you see it. Draw arrows from where you want to link one piece of information to another. When you think you’re done, step back, look at it from your visitor’s eye. Will they know where to go and follow your prompts easily? Ask your friends and family to look at your navigational draft. Having fresh eyes with a new perspective can often find things that you missed or didn’t even think of, be open to their suggestions.

Finally, when you think you have finally nailed down the perfect navigational draft of your website, set it aside for a couple of days. When you come back to it, lay all those sheets of paper back out side by side, look at the whole picture. Do you still love it as much as you did a few days ago? If you do, you’re ready for the next step; if not, you need to go back to the drawing board and start again. Remember, building a website doesn’t happen in one day, so enjoy the process; your hard work will be rewarded with a beautiful website in the end. Should you run into trouble and need help from a website designer, contact me. We offer professional website design services and would be happy to help you make your dream a reality.

Until next week at the same place and time..


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