How to Create a Web Design Mockup
What is it and what role does it play?
If you consider a finished website as the main theatrical performance, the web design mockup could be regarded as its dress rehearsal.
What is a Web Design Mockup?
A web design mockup is the first visual representation of a website before it is created. This essential design phase is as an opportunity for stakeholders to express their desires and alleviate concerns.
The web design mockup will demonstrate all the visual aspects of the website, from color schemes and layout to fonts, images, navigation, and your company branding. The purpose of the mockup is to bring to light any irregularities or imperfections in the design. Perhaps the client has different expectations regarding the style, size or placement of certain elements, all of which can be quickly rectified during the web design mockup process.
Stages of a Web Design Mockup
The first step of the web design mockup process is to thoroughly brainstorm everything. The most important question at this stage is: What do you want your website to accomplish? To answer this question, you must first know who your target audience is, what they want from your site, and what you can offer them. Use a whiteboard and write down their demographics, pain points, and your offerings. Then decide what the objective of your site should be. Do you want to generate a mailing list? If so, then you should have a call to action, ask them to sign up for a newsletter or download an ebook.
Map it out
Next, map out the components on paper – content, images, logos, navigation tools, social media links, and the ever-so-important whitespace. As a design element, whitespace, or “blank” areas, make content more approachable because it is less dense and less likely to overwhelm the user. Graph paper and stencils with common navigation bar and buttons shapes will simplify the process.
As you design the layout, consider that you only have about eight to 10 seconds to capture your visitor’s attention. A clean, uncluttered appearance with easy navigation and relevant content is crucial. Further, a clean design may assist you when optimizing your site for smartphones.
Tip: If your goal is to generate leads, be sure to place the initial request for information – the call to action – toward the top of the site, then give your audience a second chance at the bottom.
This is where the design really begins to blossom. Using software like Photoshop, you can lay out all the pieces and evaluate color, whitespace, consistency, and repetition. Also, since it’s predicted that three-quarters of the world will access the internet via smartphones by 2025, this is when you should consider whether the design layout is optimized for these devices?
This is also the best opportunity to evaluate your brand messaging. Do the color schemes and font select support the image you want to project?
Test Test Test!
Now is the time to run the web design mockup through its paces. Does going from one section to another correlate visually? Are there any elements of the website that need to be removed or added? Next, show the prototype to as many members of your target-audience demographic as possible and collect feedback for improvements.
At the end of this process, you should be ready for the programmer. However, be prepared to start again, from the beginning if necessary, to refine your design and get it right the first time.
Summing Things Up
A web design mockup can save you time, money, and embarrassment. With these simple steps, you can look forward to your debut knowing that the performance will be its best. At Agency Partner Interactive, we have the web design and digital experts who can help you through each stage of the process, as well as provide digital support services such as digital marketing and IT strategy consulting. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.
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