Lately I have been receiving quite a few requests from print designers to “build” web sites they have designed for their clients. This is a lucrative business for me and I love doing it. Having the opportunity to get into another designers style is always interesting and an incredible learning process.
That said…these projects all have a sense of foreboding doom to them. I am always amazed that print designers do not start with a site-map. I have held the position of creative director for so long it just seems obvious that all design projects start with a creative brief. To me this brief should include a site-map (how many pages and how they connect) and a page description document (what is on those pages, and what is most important).
The truth be told, I do this for my print projects as well, after all, can you imagine designing a brochure or a catalog without knowing how many pages it will have and what is important on those pages?
I am also always surprised that may print designers do not do the ground work of finding out what the client expects the site to be or do. Are they expecting a lot flash movies, animated navigation, streaming audio or video? Do they expect to edit the content themselves? These are all questions I try to establish up front. I tend to focus on building SEO oriented accessible site as my primary focus. To some clients these are not want they want, I always feel it is best to establish these at the beginning as to be able to quote the appropriate site to the client.
What are your thoughts?