Simplifying the Process of Web Design in 5 Easy Steps
Web design encompasses all actions that shape and define the user experience once the website goes live. Over the years, the process of web designing has become rather complicated, as designers have to optimize the user experience across multiple devices, including desktop, laptop, smartphones, and tablets. On top of that, a website has become the most valuable asset in any digital marketing effort, which further increases the importance of web design.
Custom-tailored web design solutions can support digital marketing efforts in several ways, ranging from an improved branding strategy and higher rank of the website in search engine results pages to increased conversion rates and a firmly built online credibility.
Unfortunately, some problems occur commonly that can overcomplicate web design and turn it into a daunting task, even for the most experienced designers.
This is why we have decided to share 5- easy steps you can follow to simplify the process of web design despite the scope of the project you are working on to accomplish.
How to Simplify the Process of Web Design
Make sure to go through each one of the following steps when you are starting a new project. This practice will help you streamline your workflow and provide you with a clearly defined frame of reference for each project.
Step 1: Communicate Ideas With Your Client
The quintessential part of every web design process is the client brief. You can’t make any plans, let alone do any work, without knowing exactly what your client knows. And quite often, clients won’t know either, as they’ve come to you for a solution.
This is why we recommend you to structure your client briefing process in two phases. This will help you avoid many problems down the line, including dozens of design revisions.
The first phase is, of course – listening to your client. Let them elaborate on what they need and pay close attention to everything they have to say. Make sure to immediately point out aspects of their expectations that are not going to be addressed with web design.
Finally, when they are done, you should proceed to the second phase – a guided interview. You will have to ask very specific questions to establish the main guidelines of your web design plan. Some of these questions can be:
- What are your business goals?
- Do you expect the website to help you achieve them? Which ones specifically?
- Who is your target audience?
- Are you planning to expand to other markets?
- Are you planning on taking adavantage of search engine optimization (SEO)?
- What do expect website visitors to do once they arrive on your website?
You can prepare this questionnaire and have it ready for every new client. Not to mention how easy it becomes working on a project when all the requirements are stored in one single document.
Step 2: Start Your Research and Bring Ideas to Life on paper
At this point, you are still far away from actually designing a website. You need as much information as you can get, and a great deal of it can’t come from your client. But now you have something to work with. You know what your client expects from a website, its target audience, and the client’s niche.
You should start your research by auditing your client’s competitors’ websites. To streamline your research, we suggest you make a bookmark folder for your client where you will put all interesting websites and webpages you stumble upon.
This should provide you with some ideas for your web design. Take a piece of paper and quickly draw layouts that come to mind. Create as many layouts as possible as they will help you go through the next phase more efficiently.
Step 3: Create a Website Blueprint
Website blueprints, or wireframes, contain all the information relevant to the website’s visual structure. Don’t lose your precious time and energy by adding other elements. Focus on creating an empty site skeleton only.
Every good blueprint starts with the list of website elements. Make sure to create the list of all website elements that will end up on the live website. Now it is the time to decide where each one of them will end up. Do it with user experience in mind. If you are uncertain about the current best practices, you can always spare some time to go through the most recent ones.
While creating a blueprint, you should also make sure that the website functionality renders the website easy to use. The elements should be placed in a logical order so that the actions you want the user to take come naturally.
Step 4: Choose Fonts and Colours
Now that you have a website blueprint, you can choose fonts, colours, and specific interface elements to create general design style guidelines. If your client has some ongoing branding strategy, you should choose fonts and colours that complement it.
Once you decide which fonts and colours to use, create website elements, and compile them into a single website skin. Don’t work on details, as you will send this skin to your client for review. At this point, making changes is very easy.
Step 5: Prototype
Once you get a green light from your client, you can open your favorite web design tool and create the website prototype. This process will be very fast now that you have blueprint and style tiles. Some designers even want to go one step further, and A/B test the pages they’ve designed.
But it all depends on the contract you have with your client. Once you have the prototype ready, you can send it to your client for the final review.
Importance of Partnering With A Professional Design Company For Web Design
We already know that website design is an important part of making a website. But there is another one as well – web development. Web developers have the technical knowledge and including them in the website design process can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
They know what can be done and what can’t. This prevents a huge waste of time in terms of technical complications and post-design problems.
Partnering with a professional design company offers exactly this benefit because they have both web developers and designers on their teams. A professional graphic designer, will ensure that your company takes full advantage of the website in terms of better brand messaging and positioning, as well as leveraging engaging content.