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How to Create a Website Outline Template

by Raza Ansari

Web design is not something you go into without planning any method in advance. Did you know the website you easily browse would have experienced a great deal of thought process?

Be it for your internal web project or about targeting the client, sketching an outline lets you have a road-map to move forward. Even, every responsive website development company should practice this strategy before beginning a project. But the question arises — how?

Here I am going to discuss the framework of the website and tips to make an outline template.

  1. Go to the root of purpose

First, you should be well-aware of what you are designing for? You can’t choose a path that doesn’t guide to your destination, can you? That’s why, besides knowing a description of the website, you have to know the anticipations it has. For instance, let’s discuss a new website. What’s its target? Is it to provide the best shopping experience or for marketing purposes? How are you going to calculate those goals?

A good website has improved performances over the period but the one with not the one that has the flashiest features. And, to explain all of these, discuss your customers or seniors before starting the design task.

  1. Balance your business needs with user needs

Customers do have the desired list for their new websites. You have to get that desired list that contains their business needs. Make a list of business requirements by putting into it. Ask the customer to rate these tasks beginning from the essential to least. This will assist you and your customer to explain priorities.

Remember, not every feature mentioned in the business needs will make into the initial stage of the site. Not only money and time, but users need also to influence the feature list whether actual features have to be cut off or added. After communicating different scenarios, and user requirements that a website should have, inspect the list again and rate all the features on your own.

The feature should entertain the priorities of users. List those features that you think users would love to see as well.

  1. Prioritize and Categorize information for your site’s outline

After you have collected the information, it’s time to translate the business needs and user needs into an antique outline. This outline will assist you to make a sitemap.

One of the simplest ways to construct a successful outline is to group items and similar features. Becoming familiar with the list of contents and features will develop a pattern. In the meantime, you will determine that some items fit together while some don’t suit the list at all.

Below are a few steps which show how to convert your final list of needs into an effective outline.

Create a group:

  • determine the content and features which are identical. Now, put them together.
  • Consider all entries within a specific group as one page of content or features.

Ensure to limit the groups to five to seven entries only:

For improved usability, categorize 5 to 7 primary groups and not more than that. If it looks difficult as it’s for a huge website, categorize up to three groups.

Prioritize them as main, secondary as well as tertiary groups.

Keep every group’s depth to 2 levels:

You will have a list of items under each group. However, in some examples, there will be a subcategory for a specific item. Do not overdo the one additional level while making a subcategory. This can be helpful from the usability point of view.

If you make more subcategories and create the group in-depth, it will cause navigational difficulties in website design.

Have a look on the example given below. Give attention to the numbering level.

  1. About Us1.1 Contact Us1.2 Partners1.2.1 Home furniture partners

    1.2.2 Kitchen appliances partners

    1.3 Media/Press

    1.4 Members

    1.5 Company History


Make a group based on global features

In case the list of needs does have details like login tools or search features, or important pages like a privacy policy or terms of use, keep them into a global or universal group. Pages and links of these tools can find a strategic place either in the footer section or header section of your website.

Start navigation points priority-wise

The main purpose of categorizing information and making groups is to make the navigational system of the whole site more efficient. Remember, the categories and groups you make are will appear on every page of your website. Since the users can have a lot of choices, the best way is to group the sets of these navigations. Provide the users with visual treatments as well so that they get interested in your page. It becomes your main navigation in the case of only one set of groups. This makes web design simple and easy.

However, you have to decide which one will be the main navigation if there are various sets of groups. The rest will come into the tertiary and secondary sets of navigation. Each of the tertiary and secondary sets is going to have a different or lesser visual treatment. They will have a different location on the website as well. Do not add more than 7 groups within the primary, tertiary and secondary sections or else usability will go down. Providing clients with more than 7 choices can create problems for them.

However, it is a good experience to put all the key elements of navigation together to give them the same visual treatment. It lets users effortlessly differentiate every navigation-set as well as their significance. Adopting a planned approach is the key to amazing website design solutions. I mentioned above can assist you to short-list your choices and make a sitemap first to make every feature of your website more efficient.


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