It’s day 2, and before we dive into coding or editing images, let’s plan out what the hell we hope to get out of this website we’re redesigning! Take ten minutes to plan the site’s objectives.

download .mp4 / watch on YouTube

(Pardon the shakiness of this video, I’m still learning not to bump into my desk as I flail about recording videos.)

A little tool I like to use is The Hourglass Chart. It helps narrow down the attributes/features of the your site, the immediate results of those features, and what your goals are given that new result. Here’s a quick mockup I did in Photoshop:

The Hourglass Chart

The key here is to limit what goes into the site. Don’t cram in every widget you can think of. You don’t need a forum, and a Flickr widget, and a photo of your dog. Keep the attributes to 2-4 items, such as a blog, a portfolio, a list of resources, interviews, press/media links, or an in-depth bio/about page. Not all of those!

Those will lead to a result. Maybe your work will get spread around the web, maybe you’ll become an authority on a subject, maybe you’ll solidify your dedication to a certain craft. Those are all great, but again, you have to limit yourself.

Finally, write down the goals you want to achieve with this website and your newfound results. These are what you have to keep in mind even after the re-design is complete.

Write your comments and tell us what you’re including in your site. Broad strokes. What are your goals? Let’s make this thing a community. And if you’re tweeting, make sure to use the hashtag #redesign to bring others into the effort.

Oh, and pardon that gratuitous shot of my ass in that video. I have revealed my dirty secret: Yes, I work in sweat pants. But only because my yoga pants are in the laundry.