Firstly, what is the FAT-P system? Essentially, it is an acronym that stands for:
Form: The first step in any web design project is deciding on the best form for the website, whether it be a static page, a blog or even a flash animation. In most cases, the client will have little experience with websites, so it is the role of the designer to help them come to this conclusion by discussing the specifics of what the client wants.
Audience: If you want your website design to be successful, it is important that you next define who the target audience is. You will need to create a complete profile of the people who are going to look at this website, right down to their age range and even gender. You will then need to ensure that all aspects of the site revolve around this profile so that you know it will appeal to these people.
Topic: During the planning stages of any web design project, it is important that the designer ensures that the topic or message of the site is clearly conveyed, otherwise it can get lost in the design. This can also help to prevent revisions later on during the revision stage, which can be highly time consuming.
Purpose: Finally, you need to ensure that you are aware of the purpose, or the objective, of the website. Is the client trying to sell a product, build a community, present information about something, or generate leads? The answer to this question should drive the design, as well as determining how the call-to-action should be formed.
The next time you find yourself beating your head against a brick wall because you have no idea what you are trying to do with your current web design project, remember that there is no need for despair a simply take a clean sheet of paper and so some brainstorming based on the FAT-P system.