The main steps before website design process begins
Understanding the goals
Before starting any website design process our team will work with your organizations to understand your needs, identify the goals of the future website, the current pain points, and start working towards creating a creative brief. Below is a list of some but not all questions we will ask you during the first consultation.
- What is your business?
- What is your target audience?
- What services or products do you offer?
- What are the main objectives you’re trying to accomplish by designing a new website?
- Who are your main competitors and how they’re performing?
- Are there any issues you see with the current site, or missing features, that you hope to address with a new site?
After we get the answers to all these questions, we will get a better idea of what you’re looking for and go to the next step, defining the project’s scope.
Defining the project scope
Defining the project scope is one of the most difficult steps in the web design process. Understanding the technical requirements, the required features, the number of pages, posts, need of any custom development, hosting needs, deadlines, and budget is crucial to meet the expectations of both teams.
The custom website design process
At this point, the project’s scope is clearly defined, the website goals are understood and the contract is signed. The project will go through 6 stages: Kickoff, Discovery, Design, Development, Delivery, and Support. Read more about these stages.
Our designers will start with designing a sitemap. The design of the sitemap is informed by the data gathered during the Discovery stage. Every page on the sitemap is intentional, solving a specific problem.
Once we understand what pages will make up the site, we begin to design the user flows of the site. User flows are the paths that users take to navigate the site. A well-designed site will have clear paths to accomplish specific goals. If we’re designing an E-commerce website, a user flow, for someone who lands on a product page, might look like:
Google Search – Product Page – Cart – Checkout – Confirmation Page
Sketches & Wireframes
Once we’re clear on how users will navigate the site, our UX Designer will move into the layout of the website by creating possible solutions in the form of Wireframes. Wireframes are the equivalent of a website blueprint. They’re not intended to represent the final look and feel of the website, but rather to efficiently visualize the layout of the site.
Our designers and developers work together to design sites that are responsive on any device. A design that is intended to work across devices is easier and faster to develop and implement, accelerating the overall development cycle.
Much like a responsive design, our agency plans an accessible website from the beginning of the project. We design our sites to conform to level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. Designing accessibility into the site from the start of the project ensures that the site is enhanced by conforming to these standards, rather than compromising aesthetics to meet standards.
While our UX Designer is working on sitemaps, user flows, and wireframes for the website, our Visual Designer will craft a stunning set of visual design elements and brand assets. Buttons, links, typography, and color palettes are all carefully styled to create a look and feel that speaks to your audience and reflects your brand.
Mockups are when the magic happens. Our visual designer will apply the polish of the visual design elements to a few select pages to create high-fidelity mockups, static pages that represent what the live site will look like. Mockups provide an opportunity for testing design decisions with users and getting feedback from clients. Our agency typically presents clients with 1-3 high-fidelity mockups.
Depending on the uniqueness and complexity of a website’s interactions, our team may assemble interactive or live pages to test with people who are or share similar traits to a client’s target audience. Having people use interactive prototypes will allow us to quickly resolve potential usability issues. The majority of a website’s design will follow established design patterns, a design that is used consistently on the internet, and will not require this extra layer of testing.
Upon final approval, our designers will hand off a full set of mockups and specifications to our web developers for implementation. The designers and developers will continue to work closely together to implement the design into the site.
Website Design For Businesses
The final deliverable of Web Design for business is a set of mockups, representing the overall look and feel of the website. Interested in learning more about implementation, check out our development process.
If you want to know how to select the right vendor to build a nonprofit website, follow the link and read our blog article.