Web Designers, the backbone of eye-popping websites that keep the web world colorful; think about web designs with sheer focus on technicalities like wireframes, code, content, maintenance and more. These genius minds know that a great design is not confined to integrating social media buttons or displaying visuals but revolves around embracing a thoughtful strategy.
Websites that are more than just aesthetics, emerge as the winners. They pull visitor traffic and let them understand the business, product, service and branding by combining text, indicators, interactions and comprehensive visuals. Having said that - each component of the website when works in tune with each other, the defined goal is achieved.
Now comes the question - how to bring the harmony among all the elements? Answer- Through a holistic process.
For all our dear designer friends, we have come up with this post that will introduce you to the 7 stages involved in a successful web design cycle.
Being the initial stage, this is the phase when a web designer finds out the goals of the website in accordance with the client. Some of the questions to be answered during this stage are:
If these questions are not answered in the beginning, the whole project may go in the negative direction, later.
Apart from this, understanding the target audience and their mindset is also crucial.
Scope creep is undeniably among the common yet tricky issues that kill the overall project. Initially, the client has one goal in mind; however, as things proceed, it increases, expands and even changes during the designing stage. When this happens, the designer realizes that they are not only creating a site but also push notifications, web app and emails.
Though this isn’t any problem for the web designers; however, when the expectations don’t match with increase in expenses or time, the project becomes unrealistic.
In order to set the boundaries and comfortable deadlines, a Gantt chart is very helpful. It keeps everyone focused on accomplishing the task along with goals - something desired by both, the designer and the client.
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Base of a well-designed website is laid upon by sitemap. It gives information architecture to the designers and describes the relation between multiple pages and elements of content.
After this, comes the turn for wireframe. It gives a framework to keep the visual design and content elements of the website. Also, it helps to determine the challenges and gaps that are possible with the sitemap.
Though wireframe contains no final design elements, it definitely behaves as a guide to know how the website will look.
Now this is the most important aspect of every website. It’s good to know that content has its role in fulfilling two major purposes:
1. Driving engagement & action
Powerful content excites readers and compel them to take the action that is actually the goal of the website. Achieving this dream depends on the content and its presentation.
Long, boring and similar content bores the readers; whereas, short, relevant and unique content captures attention and push audience to move on to other sections of the site. When a lot of content is required, the best way to present it is breaking it into short paragraphs with relevant visuals for appealing feel.
Along with Rich Thornett, Dan is the co-founder of dribbble.com show-and-tell website. The site lets designers to upload micro-shots of their in progress work.
2: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Content is an effective way to increase a website’s visibility for search engines. A site can expect success by using keywords and key-phrases appropriately. However, with search engines getting smarter, content strategies should also.
Keywords that are needed to be ranked high must be placed in the title tag. Also, keywords are important in the H1 tag, body content and meta description.
Search engines adore content that is well-written, keyword-rich and informative.
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This phase is all about shaping the design with color choices, existing branding elements, logo, fonts and more. Other than turning client’s ideas and demands into action, this stage gives a designer the chance to showcase their talent.
As compared to yesteryears, images have proved their worth more in the current time. Besides adding a professional look, they convey the message, build trust and are mobile-friendly.
Visual content is a golden opportunity to increase number of clicks, traffic and profits. Images are cherished by the viewers and make the webpage seem less cumbersome and more impressive. Not just this but they also give value to the message that’s in the text.
High quality images are crucial but massive ones slow the loading time. Hence, care should be taken to ensure the images are as responsive as the website.
Okay, now as the content and visuals are in place, testing can be done.
Each and every page needs to be tested to make sure that all links are working and the site is loading on all the browsers & devices. Errors found can be fixed on time, this very way.
Not to skip are meta titles and descriptions. It’s good to know that even the order of words in the meta has an impact on the performance of the webpage on various search engines.
So, as everything is complete and tested, it’s the time to launch the website and go live. However, this is not an even or smooth process and there are certain elements to be fixed. Website designing is an eternal process and requires being maintained constantly.
Right colors, fonts and design motifs are must. The way in which the site is navigated and experienced is way important. Experienced designers are skilled at creating sites that serve both these purposes really well.
When going live, what needs to be remembered is that web designing is a never ending job. After the launch, user testing can be run on new content & features, message refining and monitor analytics.
So, this was it! These seven stages are common in every website designing process. What makes the difference is how seriously these are taken and implemented. Being careless even in any of them may lead to regret later.
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