Every time you visit a website on the internet, what is the first thing that catches your attention? Is it the color scheme? The font styles? Or is it the loading time? Apparently, all these factors are done under a single roof—the roof of web design.
Over the years, web design has evolved into different variations. All of which is done in accordance with the people’s tastes. Many people would decipher the meaning of web design based on its name. However, little do they know that there is a lot more to it than what meets the eye.
Web design is a process that includes the planning, conceptualizing, and arranging of content online. It typically always goes with web development. However, when it comes to web design, it usually refers to the user experience aspects rather than the software development of the website. At the beginning of the rise of web design, it used to focus entirely on designing the website for desktops, and as the years went by, the design for mobile and tablets has become ever-increasingly important.
The phases of web design are placed into action by professionals which are known as web designers. These people are the ones in charge of bringing web design to life. They work on the appearance and the overall layout of the website. Curious about how these people create such mesmerizing art? Read on the phases of web design below!
Step 1: Defining your project
Before anything else could be done in web design, it would need the development of a project’s direction. It includes the reason why the website would exist and what it’s supposed to achieve in the long run. These goals and objectives would all act as the foundation that would all be coming from the clients.
This definition process calls for proper communication between the client and its partner in generating the design of their website. And once all the information and assessments needed have been gathered, a project briefing will now follow. The project briefing typically covers the project’s overall summary, goals, target audiences, messages, and even the stakeholder’s competition.
Step 2: Determining the scope of the project
It is now time to define and finalize the scope of the project. Defining the scope is one of the critical steps in web design that has been causing frustration in web design projects. This phase outlines specific activities and deliverables, each with its own specific timelines.
The Gantt chart is one of the many tools that can be used in defining the scope of the project. It not only outlines the major activities but also the tasks which are associated with every activity and start and end dates. It is often used because of its visual preference for the team, and accountability between the web design team and client.
Step 3: Building the website’s architecture and its wireframes
A website’s architecture doesn’t only cover its form but also the wireframe and sitemaps of pages. All these have their own parts to play to ensure the optimum function and visuals of a business’ website. The sitemap would be the one in charge of ensuring that all the key pages in the site are able to show their relationship with each other and also defines how the site’s overall navigation should be structured. And as for the wireframes, these are the ones that provide the guidance needed in defining the content hierarchy on the website’s page.
However, in this phase, design elements are yet to be implemented.
Step 4: Implementing visual design
Here comes the exciting part, the design. In here, the creation of the website’s own unique visual style is done. Once the blueprint for the website has already been finalized, the team can now start with its design which shall be determined by the visual brand of the organization or business.
This gives the website its unique and distinct touch that mirrors the brand and all its goals. It somehow conveys key brand perceptual ideas within the design and also enables the formation of a connection between the web and other forms of the brand’s communications.
Step 5: Development process
After the blueprint and design have been made and counter-checked for a number of times, the website’s development now begins. It is the phase where the design of the pages, content, creative videos, slideshows, etc, would be placed into action. The HTML and CSS of the website would be built in this phase.
Step 6: Testing
Once everything has been put into place, it will now be positioned on a production server where only internal audiences and people who you share the link with can access the website. Think of it as a test run where the client selects a few audiences to know their feedback and to check whether the site is working properly or not.
It plays an important role in checking the overall functionality of the website. And who would want to have a buggy website that won’t function properly at the beginning of its launch? Make sure to cross-check your business by testing the waters before jumping in.
Step 7: Website launching and maintenance
The final and most awaited step in web design is its launching. After going through phases 1-6, it is now time to bring the business’ website to life. However, the project does not entirely end with the website’s launch. After its launching, comes the maintenance of the site.
Websites aren’t something that is just simply seen online. You cannot simply just throw a newly opened site in the online world and leave it there. They are considered living, breathing entities that need constant care and maintenance. This helps the site maintain its proper functioning, allows developers and designers to amend issues that may arise on the site, and even plays a part in the website’s SEO rankings.