- Joanna Konefal
Quick guide on how to plan your dream website
With 5 examples of websites for yogis
Website design may sound overly complicated but - as with everything - once you understand what it takes to create a digital place where you promote your business, you will surely feel more empowered to take first steps. There is a lot you can do in your own capacity and in many cases as the business owner you are the best fit to make certain decisions. Depending on your availability, creative and digital skills you may be able to create the website on your own, or otherwise seek professional input in areas you feel that you need support.
1. Finding the purpose
One of the first steps in building a new website or redesigning an existing one, is the architecture that will answer all needs of potential visitors. In order to know how to map the site, the first question you need to answer is about the purpose. It comes down to who you expect to come to your website and what they would be looking for.
For example: are the visitors searching for more information about yourself and the style of yoga you teach in order to decide on taking private classes, or do they already know that and are simply looking to book classes; is online offer your main focus (videos, tutorials, challenges); does your yoga style strongly relates to any specific philosophy or is there anything you want to transmit through your website that makes you unique?
David O Yoga: a video testimonial about David's background immediately enables international students to get to know the teacher who's focused on providing online tutorials.
2. Defining your visual style
Most of yoga teachers I met have a personal aura surrounding them. It is something about the way they teach but also about the way they communicate and relate with others. Most of the time students intuitively know who they want to train with based on that unspoken value each teacher represents. When it comes to design, the conceptual part consists in translating the unseen values, unique propositions and yogi personality into visuals. There are several ways to do that.
Visual communication is about finding imaginary that resonates with how you feel about your yoga style and the experience, and how you want others to relate to your offer. In practical terms, you may want to reach out to online references, like other websites, images related with a specific aspect of your teaching or your personality that you feel are relevant, social media inspiration, even seemingly unrelated photos, objects or textures, anything that feels right to get message through. There is a catch though! The moment you open an internet browser, you become biased. It’s best to start with a blank sheet of paper and write down the values and aspects of your business that you want to remain the core of the brand identity you will be creating. It will be helpful to look back at the list and check if the visuals transmit your ideas.
Supply: a social enterprise using yoga as a medium to quieten the noice of everyday life - the website's visuals provide the feeling of calm and clear structure helps access "On Demand" and "Live" classes right from the main menu.
3. Creating your style guide
This is where the palpable design work kicks in. Creating an organised resource, for example a document, with the selection of visual parameters for the styling of your brand will pay off once you move on to practical aspects of web design, and furthermore will ensure consistency in all future actions you’ll be taking on such as social media marketing, email communication, posters etc.
The basics include colour palette, typography (selection, style, format and application of fonts), use of logo and imaginary. Here you should consider use of your own images versus royalty-free images, their style, what they depict, even the angle (front or side view, bird-eye view, etc.) or frame (showing full figure or detail, using background for context or solid colour for highlight). This can be extended with any other elements that will help your brand to be instantly recognisable and transmit a specific feel, for example calm, connection, or energy, self-improvement.
Learn to love yoga: a simple layout on the homepage allows to focus on the highlights - title encouraging to check out the blog in a very successful display font, paired with two call-to-action buttons - one using the motif from the logo, and the other prompting to sign up.
4. Preparing content
Your website in essence will be the sum of content you put out there - from descriptions, information, pricing, images that introduce relevant sections or distinguish between different options, through to your contact details. Have it all on hand to ensure smooth turnaround - use word documents with text ready to copy paste and clear hierarchy - what’s the first information that needs to be seen, what’s the message that needs to be reinforced.
Consider whether the imaginary you want to use needs any previous design treatment in order to comply with your style guidelines and ensure optimum legibility. This could include editing images with filters, semi-opaque screens, embodying graphic elements or watermarks, to name a few. Think about your communication with the audience, maybe you need to set up a business email that will add credibility to your enterprise. Another thing you may want to prepare ahead are testimonials, if you don’t have any yet, reach out to your clients and allow them some time to come back to you.
Fly LDN: London based studio uses positive visualisations in their yoga practice and this is perfectly showcased in the background video that plays as you access their website.
5. Putting it all together
One Yoga: the website optimises communication with a user - currently showing a pop up message when you first access to ensure compliance with covid regulations, the "Book Your Class" tab fixed to the right and visible at all times make it extra easy for users to make a booking, and the bottom of the homepage includes Newsletter form for a sign up.
With the above considerations, you can make an informed decision about how much professional help you’ll need with the website. There is a spectrum of design support you can get and it is mostly down to your own skills and availability whether - and to what extend - you’ll need a graphic / web designer to make the dream happen.
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