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Web Design Process: A Complete Guide

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Website design is a complex process. Designers and developers consider both visual appearances as well as functional design. Technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript give the web design its shape and help to define the way the audience will interact with the information. However, the core part of the website development and design process does not necessarily only involve coding.

The crucial part of the website design and development life cycle is the stages of preliminary information gathering, detailed framework planning, and post-launch maintenance. With several elements to take into account, the web design process can often get tricky. To simplify the process, we have curated a guide on what a website design process looks like.

A website building framework rotates around two main subjects – price and time. These two values depend on the scope of the project. To outline the design and development process, it is essential to create a website development timeline to add tasks and establish milestones for the project. The best way to keep a track of the project implementation process is to make sure that the deadlines are met.

A Guide to web design process


Step 1: Goal identification – What is the purpose of the website?

A proper web design will help in solving various challenges. It will enable the audience to understand the product or services provided by the brand, generate more emotional bonds, and increase interactions. A website can be informational, educational, and divisive. It acts as a platform for an individual or business to express and utilize in the following ways.

  • Sell products or services
  • Build an online presence
  • Branding
  • Showcase authority and establish a sense of trust
  • Generate leads
  • Nurture sales
  • Build a strong relationship with the audience

The success of web page design depends on how different elements are combined like colour, font, texture and images. It is essential to have a precise understanding of each in detail.

Step 2: Project scope: purpose, goals, and target audience

This stage of design process involves discovering and researching to determine the subsequent steps of the design framework. The most critical task is to gain a clear understanding of the purpose of the website, the main goals, and the target audience. With a website development questionnaire, it becomes easy to develop the best strategy for project management.

Different types of websites offer visitors different functionality. A news portal website differs from an entertainment one. Online resource websites look different. This indicates that different technologies are used according to the purpose of the website. A well-designed and detailed plan founded on the pre-development data will assist in protecting the client from spending extra on resources and unexpected issues like design changes or adding new functionalities later on.

Step 3: Sitemap and architecture

At this stage of the website design cycle, the designer assembles the data that enables the client to reckon what the final site will look like. Based on the data gathered in the previous phase, a sitemap is created. The sitemap helps describe the relations between the integral areas of the website.

Such representation helps in understanding the usability of the final product. It also helps to establish a sense of the relationship between different web pages and to judge the ease of finding the required information or service. The sitemap allows the user to understand what the inner structure of a website would look like. The main reason behind creating a sitemap at the initial stage is to build a user-friendly and easy to navigate website.

Before the coding stage or even the design phase, it is important to get approval from a client to check if everything looks fine. Identifying the errors before the beginning of the next phase helps eliminate issues or modifications that may arise later. It is advisable to build a wireframe or mock-up. A wireframe is a graphical representation of the user interface. It describes the elements that will be added to the web page. The other essential aspect is to determine the technology stack, including the programming language, frameworks, and CMS.

Step 4: Visual design: page layouts, review, and approval cycle

One of the critical web design steps, in this phase, the website starts taking shape. All the visual elements, including photos, images, and videos are created at this stage. All the information gathered in the first phase of the project is reassembled and formulated. While selecting the visual elements, the brand as well as the target audience must be kept in mind.

The result of a designer’s work, the final website layout, can be in the form of a graphic sketch or actual graphic design. The primary function of the graphical layout is to define the data structure, visualise the content elements, and demonstrate the functionality of the design. The design layouts, including colours, images, and logos can help the client gain a general understanding of the final website structure.

After the visual elements are added, the client can review the layout and send their feedback. If the client is unsure of some of the aspects of the design, it is best to identify and incorporate the changes in the layout at this stage. This identification cycle should be repeated until the client is satisfied with the interface.

Read: Web Design Tips To Make A Website Look Professional

Step 5: Content writing

Content writing and compiling often overlaps with other stages of the website design process. An integral part, it is important to put in writing the essence of the brand that is to be communicated to the audience through the website. Content writing also includes the creation of catchy headers, writing, editing, and compiling new text as needed. This step takes time and effort. Hence, it is important that the content is finalised at the earliest, based on which the design layouts can be created.

Step 6: Website development and coding

This is the crucial step where the website development process finally starts. Usually, the home page is designed first, and the sub-pages are then added as per the website hierarchy created in the sitemap. Frameworks and CMS are also implemented at this stage to ensure that the server can handle the installation and set-up.

Another critical step while building a website is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is the optimisation of website elements including title, description and keywords that helps in ranking the website in the search engines.

Step 7: Website testing, quality control, and launch

A routine part of the website development process is testing. Every link is tested to ensure that there are no broken links. Testing is done to check every form and every script. A spell-checking software is also used to find any possible typos. For quality control, code validators assist in checking if the code follows the current web standards. Valid code is essential as cross-browser compatibility is crucial for the website.

After checking and rechecking the website, it is time to upload it to a server. With an FTP or File Transfer Protocol software, the website can be easily uploaded. After the deployment of the files, a final test run to ensure the smooth functioning of the website is important.

#Support & maintenance: monitoring and updating

It is important to understand that a website requires consistent up-keep and maintenance for it to work optimally. Post designing and developing your website, you need to ensure that adequate support is offered by the agency in case of any issues or if a glitch needs to be fixed. Most website design and development agencies offer post-launch support, but for a limited time.

The other important aspect is to keep the website up to date. Regular updates help prevent the website from bugs and decrease security risks. This can be done by the client, or they can hire an agency to look after the website’s maintenance. Most digital marketing agencies also offer annual website maintenance services. Do check for these services post the launch of your website.

To Sum Up

A website development project does not start with coding and end after the website is launched. The initial phase of preparation affects all subsequent stages that follow, so it is important to plan each stage well. In-depth discovery and planning of all aspects of the web design process is the key to success. The post-launch period of a website is equally significant.

The development framework should be equally agile and flexible enough to incorporate the possibility of changes in the website according to users’ feedback. This will ensure the entire project is well-managed and executed.

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