It’s normal for web designers to look at the web design workflow through a technical lens, focusing on wire frames, coding, and managing content. Great design is about more than that, though. It’s about creating a site design that matches your business’ overall strategy. It’s more than aesthetics because a website needs to attract visitors and showcase a company brand and products in a lot of different ways including visuals, text, and customer interactions. Every part of your site needs to work to that goal. Here are 7 easy steps to achieve this website design process.
1. Identifying a goal
Because everything needs to work towards the same goal, it makes sense that the first step is about that goal. As a designer, you need to figure out what the end goal is for the website design in collaboration with the client and any other stakeholders. You should be exploring and thinking about who the site is for, what they’re supposed to do on the site, whether you’re informing, selling, or entertaining. What is the overall branding strategy and how can the website reflect that identity? How can your site stand out from competitors and what can you learn from their site? This stage is very important to make sure your whole process is in line with your objectives.
2. Defining the scope
A big problem with web design projects is known as scope creep. This is when the client has a certain goal in mind which evolves or changes or even grows during the design stage. In a flash you can go from designing a website to a matching web application, push notifications, and emails. As per John Grant, a tech blogger at Academized and Australian Help, “these expectations need to be matched with a budget and timeline increase or the project will be unrealistic. In an agile sprint, this would create a new cycle and go back to the starting point.”
3. Creating a sitemap
The sitemap is the base for your website. It gives you a good, clear picture of the architecture of the site and the information connections between all pages and content. It’s absolutely necessary to have a sitemap before starting to build the website. The next step is creating a wireframe mockup as a framework for all the design and content elements of the site to be stored somewhere. That’s when you might notice gaps in your sitemap or previously unforeseen challenges.
4. Creating content
At this point, you need to create the content that will go on the website. Written content is crucial to the site, and it’s about a lot more than just SEO. Content is about creating customer engagement as much as it is about SEO. Content is meant to engage the reader and push them to take the action you want to meet your objectives. This can’t be writing just for the sake of filling pages it needs to be interesting or entertaining. Your content must also keep SEO in mind so that it becomes more visible in search engines.
5. Adding visuals
Once the content is taken care of, you’ll want to spend time on the visual style of the website. This is all about the client branding, the choice of color and logos, and relies a lot on the client and stakeholders. This is also a portion of the workflow where talented web designers really stand out from the crowd.
6. Testing the site
Once the site is all completed, you still have to test it. Test every page and make sure all your links are functional and the website displays well on every type of display and browser. Rob Solomon, a web developer at Paper Fellows and State of Writing, says that “it’s a time-consuming process but it’s better than launching a broken site. Look at your meta title to get the best order of your words, and review your descriptions too.”
7. Launching the site
Now it’s all down to the launch of the site. This may not be as perfect as you want, because you might still find something or another that needs a fix. The reality of web design is that it’s ongoing and you constantly need to be maintaining your website.
By following these 7 steps, it’ll become much easier to keep each stage of your web design process on track.
Writer Ellie Coverdale works for Essayroo and UK Writings. She focuses her articles on agile sprints, workflow processes, and web design. She enjoys sharing with her readers her ideas on improving project management and website and application development for more efficient businesses. She is also a tutor and writer for Boom Essays.