Step 2 - Research
Even the best designers don’t start from scratch - your instinct may be to do something completely different to what everyone else is doing, but you should understand why some things are being used, so you can decide whether it will help you or hurt you to do something different.
So the best place to start is by doing research on websites that are similar to yours, be it direct competitors, or sites offering something similar. You want to see what others have done, so you can:
- Get design inspiration. Learn from these sites to see what kind of things you should have on your website
- Page structure & content
- Image placement
- See what kind of things you should avoid (you want to avoid having the same colours, the same images, the same page layout), basically you have to familiarise yourself with the competition.
But bear in mind, unless you have direct insights into how your competitor is really doing, you don’t always know if the ideas you are getting from competitor research are always the best ones.
It’s also good to get design inspiration from non-competitors that have leading edge design examples. This can help give you a more modern design than your competitors. Here are 4 of our favourites:
Once you have gone through this research phase, look at our themes to find something you think will suit you as a starting point. Choosing the right theme from the start can save you quite a lot of time.