Web designers often believe in the online design process with attention to technical matters like wireframes, code, and content management.
But great design isn’t about how you integrate the social media buttons or maybe slick visuals. Great design is really about having an internet site creation process that aligns with an overarching strategy.
Well-designed websites offer far more than simply aesthetics.
They attract visitors and help people understand the merchandise, company, and branding through a spread of indicators, encompassing visuals, text, and interactions. meaning every element of your site must work towards an outlined goal.
But how does one achieve that harmonious synthesis of elements? Through a holistic web design process that takes both form and performance under consideration.
For me, steps to style an internet site requires steps:
Goal identification: Where I work with the client to work out what goals the new website must fulfill. I.e., what its purpose is.
Once we all know the site’s goals, we will define the scope of the project. I.e., what sites and features the location requires to satisfy the goal, and therefore the timeline for building those out.
Sitemap and wireframe creation: With the scope well-defined, we will start digging into the sitemap, defining how the content and features we defined in the scope definition will interrelate.
Now that we have a much bigger picture of the location in mind, we will start creating content for the individual pages, always keeping program optimization (SEO) in mind to assist keep pages focused on one topic. it is vital that you simply have real content to figure out for our next stage:
With the location architecture and a few contents in situ, we will start performing on the visual brand. counting on the client, this might already be well-defined, but you could possibly even be defining the visual style from the bottom up. Tools like style tiles, mood boards, and element collages can help with this process.
By now, you’ve all of your pages and defined how they display to the location visitor, so it is time to form sure it all works. Combine manual browsing of the location on a spread of devices with automated site crawlers to spot everything from user experience issues to simple broken links.
Once everything’s working beautifully, it is time to plan and execute your site launch! this could include planning both launch timing and communication strategies — i.e., when will you launch and the way will you let the planet know? Then, it is time to interrupt the bubbly.
Now that we’ve outlined the method, let’s dig a touch deeper into each step.
The web design process in simple steps
To style, build, and launch your website, it is vital to follow these steps:
- Goal identification
In this initial stage, the designer must identify the top goal of the website design, usually in close collaboration with the client or other stakeholders. inquiries to explore and answer during this stage of the planning and website development process include:
Who is that the site for?
What do they expect to seek out or do there?
Is this website’s primary aim to tell, to sell (e-commerce, anyone?), or to amuse?
Does the web site get to convey a brand’s core message, or is it a part of a wider branding strategy with its unique focus?
What competitor sites, if any, exist, and the way should this site be inspired by/different than, those competitors?
This is the foremost important part of any web development process. If these questions aren’t all answered within the brief, the entire project can depart in the wrong direction.
It may be useful to write down one or more identified goals,
or a one-paragraph summary of the expected aims. This may help to place the planning on the proper path. confirm you understand the website’s audience, and develop a working knowledge of the competition.
For more on this design phase, inspect “The modern web design process: setting goals.”
Tools for website goal identification stage
- Audience personas
- Creative brief
- Competitor analysis
- Brand attributes
- Scope definition
One of the foremost common and difficult problems plaguing web design projects is scope creep. The client sets out with one goal in mind,
but this gradually expands, evolves, or changes altogether during the planning process — and therefore the next thing you recognize,
you’re not only designing and building an internet site, but also an internet app, emails, and push notifications.
This isn’t necessarily a drag for designers, because it can often cause more work.
But if the increased expectations aren’t matched by a rise in budget or timeline, the project can rapidly become utterly unrealistic.
A Gantt chart, which details a sensible timeline for the project, including any major landmarks, can help to line boundaries and achievable deadlines.
This provides a useful reference for both designers and clients and helps keep everyone focused on the task and goals at hand.
Tools for scope definition
Gantt chart (or other timeline visualization)
- Sitemap and wireframe creation
The sitemap inspires any well-designed website. It helps give web designers a transparent idea of the website’s information architecture and explains the relationships between the varied pages and content elements.
Building a site without a sitemap is like building a house without a blueprint. which rarely seems well.
The next step is to seek out some design inspiration and build a mockup of the wireframe. Wireframes provide a framework for storing the site’s visual design and content elements and may help identify potential challenges and gaps with the sitemap.
Although a wireframe doesn’t contain any final design elements, it does act as a guide for the way the location will ultimately look. It also can act as inspiration for the formatting of varied elements. Some designers use slick tools like Balsamiq to make their wireframes. I wish to return to basics and use the trusty ole paper and pencil.
Tools for site mapping and wireframing
- Pen/pencil and paper
- Content creation
Once your website’s framework is in situ, you’ll start with the foremost important aspect of the site: the written content.
Content serves two essential purposes:
Content drives engagement and action
First, content engages readers and drives them to require the actions necessary to satisfy a site’s goals. This is often suffering from both the content itself (the writing), and the way it’s presented (the typography and structural elements).
Dull, lifeless, and overlong prose rarely keeps visitors’ attention for long. Short, snappy, and intriguing content grabs them and gets them to click through to other pages. albeit your pages need tons of content —
and sometimes, they are doing — properly “chunking” that content by breaking it up into short paragraphs supplemented by visuals can help it keep a light-weight, engaging feel.
Purpose 2: SEO
Content also boosts a site’s visibility for search engines.
The practice of creating and improving content to rank well in search is understood as program optimization or SEO.
Getting your keywords and key phrases right is important for the success of any website. I always use Google Keyword Planner.
This tool shows the search volume for potential target keywords and phrases, so you’ll hone in on what the actual citizenry is searching for online.
While search engines are getting more and more clever, so should your content strategies. Google Trends is additionally handy for identifying terms people use once they search.
My design process focuses on designing websites around SEO.
Keywords you would like to rank forgot to be placed within the title tag — the closer to the start, the higher. Keywords should also appear within the H1 tag, meta description, and body content.
Content that’s well-written, informative, and keyword-rich is more easily picked up by search engines, all of which help to form the location easier to seek out.
Typically, your client will produce the majority of the content, but it’s vital that you simply supply them with guidance on what keywords and phrases they ought to include within the text.
Awesome content creation tools
- Google Docs
- Dropbox Paper
- Gather Content
- Handy SEO tools
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
- Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider
- Visual elements
Finally, it’s time to make the visual style for the location.
This part of the planning process will often be shaped by existing branding elements, color choices, and logos, as stipulated by the client.
But it’s also the stage of the online design process where an honest web designer can shine.
Images are taking over a more significant role in web design now than ever before. Not only do high-quality images provide a website knowledgeable look and feel,
but they also communicate a message, are mobile-friendly, and help build trust.
Visual content is understood to extend clicks, engagement, and revenue. But quite that, people want to ascertain images on an internet site.
Not only do images make a page feel less cumbersome and easier to digest,
but they also enhance the message within the text, and may even convey vital messages without people wanting to read.
I recommend employing a professional photographer to urge the pictures right. you’ll try free stock photos but confine to mind that massive, beautiful images can seriously hamper a site.
I exploit Optimizilla to compress images without losing quality, saving on page-load times. You’ll also want to make sure your images are as responsive as your site.
The visual design may be thanks to communicating and appealing to the site’s users. catch on right, and it can determine the site’s success. catch on wrong, and you’re just another web address.
Tools for visual elements
The usual suspects (Sketch, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.)
Moodboards, style tiles, element collages
Visual style guides
A key thing to recollect about the launch stage is that it’s nowhere near the top of the work. the sweetness of the online is that it’s never finished. Once the location goes live, you’ll continually run user testing on new content and features, monitor analytics, and refine your messaging.
What’s your process look like?
Do you follow an identical design process, or does yours look radically different? We’d like to hear all about it, so comment below.