Planning for a website in three steps with Monica Moon

Have you ever been stressed out by a website project? We have all been there. Luckily, Monica Moon, a creative director with over 10 years experience, walks us through a 3-step plan to make web design a little less hectic.

In her workshop at San Diego Startup Week 2017, she takes attendees through a 3-step website planning guide for corporations, startup businesses, and marketing professionals who are about to make a website, or hire an agency to design their website.  

Our very own Kyle Stewart had a chance to speak with Monica before her workshop on Tuesday, to discuss how easy web design can be.

SDSW: What does it take to be able to create a digital website, or product that is visually beautiful AND works?

Monica: A beautiful website or product without the smarts to back it may fall flat on its face. With some initial strategy planning, a good game plan, and data-driven design decisions, a website or product can go far. To launch a beautiful and smart website, there are many things you can do to prepare and help the website creation process, both as a client and or as a designer.

What are some of the factors a client or manager needs to prepare?

A few factors include: understanding the users or customers needs and hopes. You have to understand you are not your customer, create user experience frameworks and paths that make the biggest impact, prioritize products or pages based on sales goals, and build user interfaces that represent the brand’s personality but also drives conversions.

Put it this way, you can make a website crammed full of “really important” information but if it’s cluttering up the process and focus it may scare away your users. In the workshop, I’ll collaborate with you to start this road map to create a digital website or product that is visually beautiful [and] drives sales.

How did you come up with this three-step process of creating a website?

When creating or evolving a website it may seem scary and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be!  I’ve worked on over 100 websites, both at agencies and also in-house. The successful projects are the result of putting in the prep time and being able to work well across multiple teams.  

In the workshop, we will have open honest collaboration and also do hands-on activities to create a solid foundation for design and content creation, in just 3 main steps. Let’s work together to get you ahead of the curve for website creation.

What should participants bring to your workshop on Tuesday to get the most out of their time?

If you fill out the creative brief ahead of time, you are a rock star! It’s not required, but the more you define about your company and goals ahead of time the better. That way we can focus more time on other additional good stuff. Additional topics, depending on time available, may include: how to start making a sitemap, storytelling strategy for page creation, empathy mapping, why user personas are important to define, etc.

Bring your questions, and there are no dumb questions. Anyone that knows me will tell ya I’m a no B.S. person who totally geeks out over the world of websites and design. If you have questions, I have honest answers. This is a relaxed environment workshop for collaboration.

Why are you excited to be a part of the San Diego creative and tech community?

The San Diego creative and tech community is booming and full of highly talented inspiring people. I’m consistently amazed and humbled by the innovation pros and mentors I’ve collaborated with over the years, as well as the up and coming talented graduates entering this exciting industry in San Diego.

Where do you see websites going in the next year?

I see websites over the next year having more data-driven strategies and less of a “guess and launch” process. At least that’s my hope to have less junk out there and better digital experiences for us all.

What would you say are the specific trends in design?

Design-wise, I see three things that are starting to happen. First, we will see more custom mobile designs, like better control for buttons, CTA locations, image sizes, and content flow. Second, parallax movement and animations will become more simplified and restrained. Thirdly, we would increasingly need to rely on UX and UI strategy. With the rise of “build your own website” theme templates, there will also be an increase in user experience strategists and user interface UI pros to help make game plans and deliverables.

Great! Thanks Monica for your time.
You bet!

If you are interested in learning more about creating websites and Monica’s own design thinking, be sure to check out her talk, “Three Step Website Planning Guide” on Tuesday, June 20th at 9:30am at Moniker Warehouse.