So you’re beginning the journey of starting your own website but you want it to be perfect and the most ideal for your needs. The website design process is important in that it is responsible for creating a compelling website, holding your audience’s attention, user-friendliness, and more.
The very first step in the web design process is always identifying your project’s goals and needs. You should never jump into having a website designed without thoroughly thinking about what you want out of this website and what it will take to reach those goals. Going in blindly will lead you nowhere and not give you the most ideal website. Having a clear goal in mind helps to fully craft the web design that is tailored to your business’s needs. Some things that you should consider planning out during this step are:
Some people will even hire a website strategist to help them identify what their business needs out of it and curate a plan of goals. However you choose to make a plan is up to you but is very necessary.
The next step in the process would be to then define the scope of the project. Now that you know your goals and necessities for the website, determining the project scope will be the beginning of achieving those goals. What we mean by scope is the step by step plan of the process including project deadlines that need to be followed along the way. Also in the scope, you will need to identify the total number of pages on your site, any and all features you want on it, and a timeline for it all. When all of this is laid out, it will make the design process much quicker and smoother. Achieving your website design goals will be hassle-free for you and the team building your website.
The site architecture includes the sitemap and wireframes for the project. This will be the next step of the process and the step in which the website design team will completely take over. The sitemap is a file where there is provided information about the web pages, images, videos, files, and the relationships between all of them. It will show how all the pages coincide together and how the overall navigation will be structured. Wireframes on the other hand, are essentially blueprints of the website structure laid out and helps the programmers and designers with the project. They are also known as mockups of the website. They don’t show any actual design and are just a backbone.
After the “blueprints” for the website have been planned and created, the design team will then begin the visual design. This is where we start to see the website come to life and the style and look of the site will begin to form. This step is important in the process because you will be able to see the visual design and make sure it is how you want your site to look. Communication between you and the design team is crucial during this step because they will need you to look over everything to see if it is what you want visually. Your website visitors will almost always judge your site based on the visual design so you want to make sure that the message that you want is getting across.
The next step in the process is developing the website. The visual design step in the process is all about how the site looks visually and making it look appealing and “pretty.” During the development stage, the team will be all about features and functionality. This is where the website will really start to come together. All of those features that you planned out the project scope will come to life. Your website will do all of the things that you want it to do and the total functionality will come together. In this step you will also need to communicate with the web team to make sure that any and all integrations and features are functioning how you want them to.
Launch day is the exciting day that everyone has been working towards and waiting for. Before launch day, the website will be tested by the team and reviewed and approved by both them and you. Once everything has been approved, your new and amazing website is ready to launch. After your site launches, it’s not uncommon to make some tweaks and changes based on user feedback or things you have noticed need improvement over time.
Now even though your website has successfully launched and is working wonderfully, the work is never done. Websites are not just a one and done type of thing unfortunately. They require constant care, attention, and maintenance. Does that mean that if you don’t pay attention 24/7 your site will break down or have issues? No. However, you should regularly check on your site and it is important to continually update content, keep up to date on features and software used, fixing broken links, running security tests, etc. All of this is important in having a successful website.
In the end, planning and designing the perfect website isn’t easy but it does pay off. Having a well planned out, visually appealing, and high functioning website is important to the success of your business.