Web Design Process Outline

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Discovery

Each stage of the web design process is important and without these individual stages, there would not be a complete website. The discovery part of the web design process includes getting to know the company and is one of the crucial points to having a successful website. Researching the company—getting to know its values, norms and goals—is the first step you should take when developing a web design process for a client. Knowing what the company wants out of web design and what values the company wants to emphasize is crucial. Having the client let your company know what their expectations are of you as a source that is helping them will also be beneficial to both parties. Also involved in this stage is getting to know their brand, how it’s used, and when and where logos should be placed and how. This is helping preserve their brand that they already have established. Referencing existing brand guidelines, or even creating a branding bible for your client, may be necessary in the early stages of web design.

Architecture

In this stage of the process, developing wireframes, deciding how many pages will be on the website, and establishing the placement of content and pictures all takes place. It is important to work out how many pages there will be in order to know how many pages need to be developed and to create a timeline. This step will not only help the designer but also the web developer. Keep in mind that each page needs to relate to one another so that the website is fluid and simply makes sense. Carefully plan the calls-to-action on each page as they are responsible for showing the user how to get back to what page they want the user to get to, which only enhances website architecture. Try to eliminate any opportunity for a user to get lost in your website throughout this entire stage.

Design

In the design stage, we are using content that is either developed by a copywriter or Lorem Ipsum filler text so that we can ensure the site is developed accordingly based on how much space you need for necessary text. Similar to designing in alignment with content needs, also consider how to design using imagery. In this stage, you can place photography that is either taken by the company you are designing for or use free images as placeholders until the company has produced more photography for the final website. Also in this stage, supporting logos may be produced or maybe it’s time to refresh an existing logo. Another logo that may be present in this stage is a trust-factor badge.

A trust-factor badge is an icon indicating something a company does or stands for in order to further build trust between it and the consumer. Perhaps your client makes products solely in America and has a high rating by the Better Business Bureau. Trust-factor badges are small, well-designed icons placed on a website so that the consumer can know these facts at a glance, which will further expedite the conversion rate. For example, instead of having to research if products are “Made in America,” they will be able to see that they are at a glance thanks to the logo. This makes the whole process more fluid.

Another thing that cannot be forgotten about in design is functionality. Functionally is important in order to show the hover state over things that are clickable and whether or not it changes colors or slides down or up. All of these things need to be communicated to the developer. Any line or illustrations will also be present in this stage. This is when incorporating any materials that the company may have, such as blogs and social media links, happens, too.

Development

In this stage, the developer is working to turn the designer’s vision into a live site. The designer is communicating any functionality pieces that the developer needs to know so that they fully understand the designer’s goals. Every aspect of a site should be designed out so everything is ready for production. In the development stage, any bugs that come about are worked out. A dev. site is created before the site is actually launched on the internet for everyone to see. When a dev. site is created, this is a way for the client to view the site and make any changes to it before it is launched. This is usually the final chance for designers, developers and clients to see how the site will look and function once it goes live. Think of it as a website’s dress rehearsal—keep an eye out for anything that may have been overlooked and resolve an loose ends now.

Launch

When all the hard work is completed—discovery, architecture, design and development—and the client has fully approved the site, it is now ready for launch. Once the site is launched, it means that anyone can Google it, view it, and use it exactly as it should be (while admiring the neat design while they’re at it).


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Abby Olson

Abby Olson

Abby is a sparkplug of energy, and a go-getter in leading the SEO department. She helps kick in the energy in the office and keeps us all on our toes.


 

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