Dazzling by Design: The Web Design Process
Tips from Web Design Experts
Nothing happens by accident. The unveiling of a new site for a client is a moment for congratulations and celebration but was not arrived at by fate or fancy. To get to the point where the client is quite simply bowled over by the brilliant new piece of coded architecture, many have employed hard work and perseverance, sweat and concentration.
So how is this process achieved–what is the web design process?
Information Gathering and Discovery
The first part of the web design process is arguably the most important. Without knowing about the customers, the market, and the competition, there is no context for the site. Ensuring your niche in that context is essential and will impact your conversion rate.
Understanding the objectives of the new site is key. Know the goals for the site so you can get everything lined up and ‘score’. Analyze the current ideas, allow them to naturally evolve and finally get them set, before going onto the design phase.
Design – Get It Pixel Perfect
Knowing what links the plan to the product is the next step. It is the intellectual understanding hand-in-hand with its practical application. Graphic design, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design are at the fore including sitemaps, page layout, and wire frames.
Here is where the fun of throwing creativity into the ring happens–a knockout between Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock, in terms of concept, color, and web design process. Once the ideas have settled, style tiles are a great method of ensuring consistency throughout the site. Knowing what you or the client likes through signed-off approval will ensure that you can maximize that focus across the site.
Building and Development
The nuts and bolts of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) coding mesh together here, raising the site from the page. Going through the concepts and mock ups for color palettes, visuals and having an ongoing content creation and SEO (search engine optimization) strategy built into the site.
Ensure there is a road map for onward travel. After all, this site should not be considered a static project; instead, it will need constant updates and adjustments to meet ongoing needs with insightful flexibility built in and that road map showing the way. Now is the time to make any initial refinements to the masterpiece, but don’t get too attached–change is the only certainty in life.
Finally, if producing a site for a client, get final build approval before testing, delivery, and upload.
Testing and Delivery
This is the final dress rehearsal. All of the pieces of the coding will need a run-through, any link issues ironed out, and final tweaks made so that it is pixel perfect, ready for the opening night.
‘Creating a buzz’ might seem counter intuitive for a website but consider fine-tuning your up-to-the-minute keyword and SEO strategy to be exactly this. After all, this is how everyone will find your site.
Make sure everyone who is involved in the web design process knows how the whole site runs then press ‘Publish’ and (briefly) kick back and survey your ‘domain’.
Another essential part of this process is understanding that it will never be finished. As time moves on there will be a million little ways to tweak the setup, ensuring that it continues to be a relevant market-leading website, rather than an old hat that has fallen off the shelf.
In order to keep the site fresh and enticing, keep on top of content, global color and image trends, as well as developments in your field. Think of it as a visit to the web mechanic – a regular checkup to keep things running smoothly and making minor adjustments as and when necessary will avoid a major accident and drastic overhaul in the future.
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