Design: Deciding what your site will look like.
While there are technical issues to be considered, like loading time, size of graphics, frames or no frames, browser compatibility, etc. The look of your site is a large part of the message you will be delivering. The Web is no different than any other medium in that first impressions matter. But there are differences. On the Web, color is free, but not all colors are safe. Space is not an issue in terms of number of pages and there are no time restrictions.

Keep your visitors interested or they will leave in less than two seconds. Give them information and give it to them quickly. Make it easy for them to get around your site. Don't add graphics that serve no useful purpose. Beyond that, just about anything goes.

The look and feel of a site has everything to do with its structure and its content and design. Good sites have a consistent graphic style and strike a balance between design and content. They allow the user to determine the flow of his/her interaction and don't try to force a linear experience. Limiting a users choices can be boring, unless the experience they are offered is a form of training or a learning experience.

Scale and proportion matter. Elaborate graphics or large photographs should not overpower the words on a site, unless the point of the site is to promote graphics or photographic services. The design approach should support the intended function of the site and the features and elements that are contained should have functional purposes.

1. What do you want to say with design?
2. Do you want to inform, impress, amuse, move to action, etc.?
3. Should you hire a Web savvy designer?
4. Will your print graphic standards work on the Web?

There is a lot to consider here. Take your time. Changing the look and feel of a web site once it has been built and launch is no small task.

STEP 4: Content