Most designers still see the web as a jungle of wireframes, design, content and code. Savvy designers though, know that a succesfull website isn’t only good and beautifull code, seo or a good looking website. When designing a website, online strategy is the key to an succesfull online presence. Guess it’s good to mention that this process actually looks a lot like the road I follow when building a brand, I will make another post highlighting that process.
Briefing & Research
The typical website will start with a Q&A session, this brief clarifies everything that needs to be done to guide the web-development process in the right direction. This Q&A session will result in a briefing where milestones are pinpointed and will keep the project in line.
Project summary: The overview of the project, environment and the people the organization serves and the unique value it provides to its audience.
Goals: Specifying one or two goals that the website should serve.
Target audiences: Who will the website, with the linked brand or organization, cater to. This can range to customers, stakeholder, suppliers etcetera. Some, but not only researching; demographic info, , brand perception, age, needs and online goals.
Messages: What is the key message to communicate to your target audience to trigger your user?
Competition: Analyzing other websites or brands.
Outlining all the deliverables and activities, timelines and milestones. I clearly set expectations and use some awesome gantt charts to visualise major activities and tasks. This will also make for a totally iterate and transparent workflow.
Wireframes & Site Architecture
Making a sitemap ensures that all the key pages of the website are included. Not only that, but also how the pages interact with each-other and how the navigation should be structured. The wireframes are quick sketches of content is ordered on the pages, so the content hierarchy is clear.
Design & Making it look awesome
The next step is to create the design & visual style, this will most likely be guided by the brand itself. I will connect the website with all the organisations communications, making it the main place for people to visit. I also always try to make the website unique and appealing to the eye, visually conveying the brand to the user.
After feedback and approval for the designs, it’s time to put the design online, developing new content and refining the old, creating videos, pictures and other media that will appear on the site as well as start to build & refine the HTML and CSS of the website.
Testing & Launch
When all the awesomeness is put online, user-tests will determine if the website is functioning as it should. The website will also be tested on multiple browsers and devices. The website won’t be launched until it is nothing more than perfect. Then the big day will arrive and the website will launch! However testing never ends, feedback from real users will always be welcome and is taken into account.
Websites are like puppies and need care and maintenance. Updating content, fixing broken links or code and giving support.
This is a brief overview of the web development process, hope you enjoyed the long read. If any questions arise, please don’t hesitate to contact me.