Understanding The Web Design Process
Designing a website can be a long process, but it doesn’t have to be. In the video above, Kieron Woodhouse, Head of UX for a leading London tech company, explains the 6 stages that every web design project goes through.
Every web design project boils down to what you want to achieve with your site. If it’s just a brochure website where you’re just showcasing products or services then it doesn’t need to be a big or arduous process.
Whereas, if your website is part of your key service offering and it’s a platform you’re building online, then it can be a very big project, so it does really depend on what you’re trying to achieve.
The biggest key to a successful web design is to ensure that you have a detailed spec and a really good brief so that any web agency you work with will understand exactly what it is you want.
To make sure your project is completed as quickly as possible, you should communicate clearly what the key performance indicators are so that your web agency can direct their resources towards the most important parts of the project.
Wireframe & Site Structure
Wireframes help you to understand the content that will be on that page, the structure, the user flow and how the site is going to work without any of the glossy finishes of a design.
It’s really important to work out these aspects before getting too excited about how a website is going to look when finished; it is more important to establish functionality and to figure out how pages will work singularly and together - doing this will help you achieve many of the goals laid out in your specification.
Look & Feel
This is personal to a business or a brand and that’s why it’s important that any web agency you work with really understands your brand values. Without appreciating these core tenets of your business, the agency may get the design all wrong or you may end up spending a lot of money on exploratory avenues that have nothing to do with what you initially wanted to achieve.
There aren’t any strict rules as to how a website should look and feel, but ensuring a great user experience and a design that is true to your brand guidelines are two important jumping off points.
The development stage involves your web agency taking a design and getting it to work. There are two types of developers: Front-end developers and Back-end developers.
Front-end developers deal with what the user will see, whilst Back-end developers are responsible for solving any and all issues behind the scene, working on your servers and the various plugins and platforms that you are using.
It’s important to have a understanding of the effort that can go into this stage as it can be quite a long process.
There are three types of testing:
The first is on-page testing, which checks whether a feature that has been specced, designed and developed actually works.
The second is user accessibility testing, which involves making sure everything that needs to be is accessible to the user and works perfectly.
The final type of testing is improving. This is an ongoing test involving you’re yourself and the web agency that asks if something can be done in a better way: Can a certain element be moved to make it work more effectively, encourage more engagement and help people better understand what they are doing?
You’ll find the first two types of testing are more effective when performed prior to launch, whilst ongoing testing should be performed regularly to ensure a continual refinement of your website.
The final stage is launching your website. It’s really important to make sure that you’ve achieved all the goals laid out in your specification, but it is also important to not be over precious about it being 100% perfect.
Your website will never be perfect and will always have room to improve as technology marches forward. If you withhold on launching your site for too long, then you could end up doing serious damage to your brand.
Just because something doesn’t look quite right or isn’t in quite the right place, it shouldn’t affect your launch. These little issues are things that can be solved post-launch. In fact, you should always be reviewing how your visitors are using and engaging with your site, to make sure it is as optimised as possible.
Now that you know the creation process, why not check out how much your new website is going to cost you? Once you’re clear on your budget then you’re ready to start comparing web agencies.
Expert Market works with leading web design agencies across the UK to ensure you a reliable and bespoke service. Prices start from £99 for a unique site, but to compare multiple suppliers, simply fill in the form at the top of the page.