When starting a website design project, it’s tempting to dive right into the design process, but there’s an important step that must come first: research! Design research is an essential step that should be a part of your planning process. The information gathered during the research phase will help to shape your website strategy and aid in decision-making during design and development. This article will look at some of the major goals when engaging in design research.

Understand client needs and goals

One of the primary goals of design research is to develop a solid understanding of the client, including business needs and goals. This research should result in a clear idea of how a business aims to use its website as a marketing tool.

Define your audience

Design research includes defining your audience and their expectations. This is one of the most important aspects to take into the design process, as who you’re designing for influences a wide range of choices. Find out more about defining your audience.

Develop technical specifications and requirements

Another goal of design research is to start developing potential technical requirements for a project. For example, if you find that an industry is highly centered around mobile use, this tells you that a mobile solution might be necessary for the project. Or, you might find that the client’s needs will be best met with a content management system. All of these specifications can potentially influence design choices, so it’s important to conduct this research beforehand.

Photo by Rayi Christian W (CC0 1.0)

Learn about the industry

It’s also important to understand the client’s industry as a whole. Understanding the ins-and-outs of an industry helps to gain valuable insight that will benefit the design process. Look at trends in the industry and what competitors are doing on their websites in order to determine how to stand out. Furthermore, industry research will help in determine potential keywords for search engine optimization purposes. Learn more about keyword research.

Save time later on

Implementing a design research strategy can save you time later on in a project. It allows you to proceed to the next phase with a clear vision and defined goals. Although it takes more time in the beginning, it will streamline the design and development process and help you more quickly reach the desired outcome.

Need some help with your research?

TBH Creative specializes in design research as part of our planning process. We take the time to plan and set strategic goals to better meet your online marketing needs. Find out more about our web strategy services.