Web designers often think about the web design process, focusing on technical issues like frameworks, code, and content management. But good web design isn’t about how you integrate social media buttons or even nifty visuals. Successful design is really about creating a website that aligns with an overarching strategy.
Well-designed websites offer a lot more than just aesthetics. They engage visitors and help people understand the product, company, and branding through a variety of indicators covering visuals, text, and interactions. This means that every element of your site should aim towards a specific goal.
But how to achieve this harmonious synthesis of the elements? Through a holistic web design process that takes into account both form and function.
Basically, this web design process consists of 7 steps:
- Defining a goal: You work with a client to determine what goals the site should fulfill and what, in general, the goal of the site is.
- Scope: Once you know the purpose of the site, you can begin to determine the scope of the project: what pages and site features are required to achieve the goal and the time frame for their creation.
- Create a sitemap and wireframe: With a well-defined area, you can start digging through the sitemap, determining how the content and features that you identified in the scope definition process will relate.
- Content Creation: Now that you have a broader picture of your site, you can start creating content for individual pages, always thinking about search engine optimization to help your pages focus on one topic. It’s very important that you have real content to work on within the next step.
- Visuals: With the site architecture and some content in place, we can get started with a visual brand. Depending on the client, these may already be well defined, but you can also define the visual style from scratch. In this process, tools such as a mood board and element collages can help.
- Testing: By now, you have all of your pages and how they are displayed to site visitors, so it’s time to make sure it all works. Combine manual site browsing on multiple devices with automated site crawlers to identify everything from user experience issues to simple broken links.
- Launch! When everything is working beautifully, it’s time to plan and launch your site! This phase should include both plannings for launch times and communication strategies – that is, when will you launch the site and how will the world know about it? After that, it was time to open the champagne.
Now that we’ve mapped out the entire process, let’s dive deeper into each step.
1. DEFINITION OF PURPOSE
The initial stage is understanding how you can help your client. At this initial stage, the developer needs to define the ultimate purpose of the website, usually in close collaboration with the client or other interested parties. Questions to explore and answer at this stage of the process include:
- Who is the site for?
- What do users expect to find or do on the site?
- Is the main purpose of this site to inform, sell or entertain?
- Should the site clearly convey the main brand message, or is it part of a broader branding strategy with its own unique focus?
- What competitor sites, if any, exist and how should the site you create be inspired by or differ from those competitors?
This is the most important part of any web design process. If there are no clear answers to these questions, the whole project could go in the wrong direction.
It might be helpful to write one or more well-defined goals, or a one-point summary of the expected goals. This will help steer the design in the right direction. Make sure you understand the target audience of the website.
Points to pay attention to at this stage in order to determine the purpose of the website:
- The target audience
- Creative brief
- Competitor analysis
- Brand Attributes
2. DETERMINING THE SCOPE
One of the most common and difficult problems associated with web design projects is “blurring the boundaries.” The client sets you one goal, but it gradually expands, develops, or changes during the design process, and the next thing you start to understand is that you not only design and build a website, but also a web application, emails, and even a newsletter. mailing list.
This is not necessarily considered a problem for a designer as it can often lead to more work. But if the increased expectations do not coincide with an increase in budget or timeline, the project can quickly become completely unrealistic.
3. CREATING A SITE MAP AND A WIRFRAME
A sitemap provides the foundation for any well-designed website. It helps give developers a clear understanding of the information architecture of a site and explains the interactions between different pages and content elements.
4. CREATING CONTENT
When it comes to content, SEO is only half the battle. Once your site’s framework is ready, you can start with the most important aspect of your site: text content.
5. VISUAL ELEMENTS
Finally, it’s time to create a visual style for the site. This part of the design process is often shaped by existing branding elements, color choices, and logos as provided by the client. But this is also the stage in the web design process where a good web designer can really shine.
Nowadays, images are becoming more meaningful in web design than ever before. Not only do high quality images give a website a professional look, but they also convey a message, are mobile and help build trust.
Visual content is known to increase clicks, engagement, and revenue. But more than that, people want to see images on the website. Not only do images make the page less cumbersome and easier to digest, but they also enhance the message in text and can even convey vital messages without the need for reading.
When the site already has all of its visuals and content, you’re ready to test.
Check each page carefully to ensure that all links work and that the site loads correctly on all devices and browsers. Problems can be the result of small coding errors, and while it is often difficult to find and fix them, it is better to do so now than to present the broken site to the public.
Look also at page titles and descriptions. Even the word order in a meta tag can affect the performance of a page on a search engine.
Now it’s time for the most beloved part of the web design process: when everything has been thoroughly tested and you are happy with the site, it’s time to go live.
Don’t expect everything to be perfect. There may be some items that need to be fixed. Web design is a fluid and ongoing process that requires constant maintenance.
Web design – and indeed design in general – is all about finding the right balance between form and function. You need to use the right fonts, colors, and design motives. But just as important is how people navigate and feel your site.
The main thing to remember about the launch phase is that it is far from the end of the job. The beauty of the web is that it never ends. After the site goes live, you can constantly test users on new content and features, analyze information and improve your message.
Another article on this blog that might interests you: