Website Design2016-11-03T13:37:03+00:00

Website Design Process

A Web development process is a documented outline of the steps needed to be taken from start to finish in order to complete a typical Web design project. It divides and categorizes the work and then breaks these high-level sections into tasks and resources that can be used as a road map for each project.

PLANNING

The planning stage is arguably the most important, because what’s decided and mapped here sets the stage for the entire project. This is also the stage that requires client interaction and the accompanying attention to detail.

This includes client goals, target audience, detailed feature requests and as much relevant information as you can possibly gather. Even if the client has carefully planned his or her website, don’t be afraid to offer useful suggestions from your experience.
The project charter (or equivalent document) sums up the information that has been gathered and agreed upon in the previous point. These documents are typically concise and not overly technical, and they serve as a reference throughout the project.
This is a crucial element of the documentation and should include payment terms, project closure clauses, termination clauses, copyright ownership and timelines. Be careful to cover yourself with this document, but be concise and efficient.
Typical information to obtain and validate includes FTP host, username and password; control panel log-in information; database configuration; and any languages or frameworks currently installed.
Beyond determining any third-party media needs, identify where you may need to hire sub-contractors and any additional software you may personally require. Add all of these to the project’s budget, charging the client where necessary.

DESIGN

The design stage typically involves moving the information outlined in the planning stage further into reality. The main deliverables are a documented site structure and, more importantly, a visual representation. Upon completion of the design phase, the website should more or less have taken shape, but for the absence of the content and special features.

This is where the visual layout of the website begins to take shape. Using information gathered from the client in the planning phase, begin designing the layout using a wireframe. Pencil and paper are surprisingly helpful during this phase, although many tools are online to aid as well.
Designing mock-ups allows for relatively easy modification, it keeps the design elements organized in layers.
A cycle of reviewing, tweaking and approving the mock-ups often takes place until (ideally) both client and contractor are satisfied with the design. This is the easiest time to make changes, not after the design has been coded.

DEVELOPMENT

Development involves the bulk of the programming work, as well as loading content.

This is when unique requirements might force you to diverge from the process. Now is the time to implement the CMS framework and get the basic engine up and running. Doing this early ensures that the server can handle the installation and set-up smoothly.
Here’s where the fancy elements come into play. I like to take care of this before adding the static content because the website now provides a relatively clean and uncluttered workspace. We also like to get forms and validation up and running at this stage as well.
Time for the boring part: loading all of the content provided by the client or writer. Although mundane, even the simplest of pages demand tight typography and careful attention to detail.
This is a good time for a full website review. We walk through every single page created—everything from the home page to the submission confirmation page—and make sure everything is in working order and that we haven’t missed anything visually or functionally.