5 Steps For A Successful Web Design Process
The Web Design Process is meant to break down complex projects in to smaller, more manageable pieces. Professionals like Scientists and Engineers use a design process to break down complicated problems in order to find a solution. Web Designers use a similar process so that they can clearly define a problem and solution. By thinking of the problem that needs to be solved in a human centric-way, it allows us to help people find empathetic solutions.
Designing a Website isn’t just about building a pretty website , it’s about finding ways to increase traffic, conversion and functionality.
In this article I’ll share with you some key ways to help you guide clients through the website design process.
A great Web Design offers a lot more than just a nice looking website. They are your 24/7 sales agent that brings traffic, leads and sales right to your front door. Not only do they attract visitors but they also help clients to understand your company and the products or services you offer.
1. Briefing and goals
When I meet clients to discuss their website design, I like to start off by determining what their goals are. What is the purpose of the site and how can we define the scope of the project. Figure out what features the site will require and how you can direct them to a call of action. Nail down how many pages the site will require and how they can be designed to fulfill their goals. Create a detailed a timeline for building the site. If you want a great website it’s important to have a detailed strategy instead of just making it up as you go. This will make it so much easier during the production phase of the process.
2. The research
Once we’ve established a detailed scope, we can then begin to create a sitemap which will be the foundation of the website. I like to start out by drawing boxes that represents each page and work my way out from the home page. Then draw out a row below the home page and sub menus below that.
It’s important to keep in mind that if your sitemap has too many primary pages you end up overwhelming the visitors with a cluttered mess and too many choices. If however you have too few primary pages, you end up creating a website that’s hard to navigate and find the information they need.
3. The Brainstorm
Once we’ve done the research and formulated a general sitemap, we can begin to brainstorm the construction phase the website. Not only does brainstorming push the project in to action but it also gets everyone involved in creating ideas. Effective brainstorming can make a big impact for getting the project started off on the right foot. It’s helpful to find points of inspiration to help motivate everyone involved to participate in the creative process of the design. You can do this by looking at similar projects, not to steal their ideas but to find ways to make it better. Another way to inspire everyone is to look at all the widgets, software and technology available that might be used to build your masterpiece.
4. The Production
Now that we have a solid roadmap laid out in front of us, we can begin creating content for individual pages and of coarse, making sure that they’re Search Engine Optimized. I find it a lot easier to create the content before jumping in to the visual phase of the design process. After creating some of the content we can begin constructing the visual elements including, Colors, brand identity, features and widgets. If your working with a client who doesn’t have a brand identity, you can use tools like element collages and style tiles to come up with colors and styles.
5. The Delivery
When you’re done creating a successful website, it can be such a gratifying experience, but don’t celebrate just yet! It’s critical that you you’ve done testing on every page to make sure everything looks and functions as it should. Test the site for speed and security with tools like gtmetrix.com and make sure the site is indexed with google.
Now that everything is working beautifully it’s time to launch the site and hand the keys off to the customer. Now we can finally bust open a bottle and have a drink.