There are plenty of tools on the market to help you design websites. One of the best tools is also one of the cheapest; pen and paper.
To illustrate the point, here are a couple of sketches from a recent project.
The first one is for the menu structure. After speaking to the client, we knew what sections were required, however we were not happy with the title for each section. To help with this, we wrote down the section names and underneath each section we put some alternatives. For example, About could be “About”, “Our Team”, “About Us”, “Company” or “Who We Are”.
The advantage of doing it this way was that we could see the possibilities for all of the sections and ensure that the labels were consistent in their language. We didn’t want to use more formal language for one section alongside a section that was informal.
For the pages themselves, we took a “board-brush” approach — nothing too detailed.
The example below is for the homepage. The plan was to have an image carousel with overlaid text. We have also outlined the position and look of the header bar; where the logo will go and where the navigation will sit.
Whilst these are not detailed ideas, it gives us a starting point to work from and any feedback can be applied instantly. The images have also been photographed and stored in Evernote for backup.
Anyone else get any other simple tools for doing the jobs?