The web design processFebruary 16, 2016 12:19 pm
How do we make a website?
Well the process can change from case to case. But in a typical “we need a new website” scenario we go through a few stages:
Stage 1: Scoping and Research
Well it starts with talking (email is fine as well). Lots of talking to you (the client) about what you want, and just as importantly, what your website users need. In most cases we meet in person and browse some other website designs that you like; if we can deal with the person closest to “the ground” the better, as they’re the ones who will have to deal with it day-to-day.
Stage 2: Planning and Wireframes
Like when you want to build a home, web design needs blueprints (of sort). We need to figure out what content is going to go where, and how all the bits will fit together. The details aren’t necessary important at this stage – you don’t need to know the interior design fit out before figuring out where to put the door on a house (although it can’t hurt).
So we put together some wireframes that show what the bare-bones of the site will look like. This informs future design decisions and makes sure that we are on the same level as you. We typically also figure out a site-map, deciding how the navigation structure will be ordered. You’ll often hear us shout “content first” at this stage as well, because knowing the content now can help us solve many of the web design problems.
Stage 3: Mockups
At this stage we need to put together visual assets for the site; basically we need to know what it will actually look like. It’s important not to get too caught up in the technical details yet (but certainly keep them in mind) because things can change. So to do this we put together a static visual of the site; starting with the small elements like typography and photos, then incorporating that into something that more resembles a finished looking website. Often branding will determine many of these tricky design questions.
Stage 4: Review and iterate
We start talking, again! We share what we have made and talk about if it will work and what further improvements can be made. Very often we find it’s hard to make a solid choice about how something should WORK (not just look) until we are looking at the mockup and imagining it in action.
Stage 5: Development
This is the technical component of web design – actually building the design into HTML, then implementing that HTML into a system that lets an administrator maintain the content on it (we will probably do a whole other post about this one day)
Stage 6: Testing and Launch
Like anything new and complicated, we need to test it thoroughly to make sure everything will work properly. We put it through the ringers – clicking on everything as much as possible, opening it in every computer and device we have available, and making sure there’s no bugs or issues. There will always be an edge-case where the design breaks for someone, often on antiquated device, but we can do our best to make sure it works 99.9% of people.
Stage 7: Tacos
Always finish a successful project with Tacos.