9 important steps to the web design process
Why 9 steps in the web design process? Well nine is our favourite number. But more importantly, we didn’t want to exclude any of the process to make it look like a lightning fast web design process! On top of that, we wanted to give every section of the process the attention it deserves giving you the best information available.
Full Web Design Process
Looking for a new website but don’t have the time? Worried it will take up your valuable time? We understand your time is precious. Afterall, we are a small business too! We provide a smooth process that works WITH you. You can be involved as much or as little as you want during the website process.
Your website is the centre of your digital ecosystem. It is where all of your online marketing efforts are directed for conversion. So, it is imperative you get it right. While the web design process isn’t ‘wham bam thank you mam’ lighting speed, we have streamlined it to take the pressure off you. This way, you can spend more time on your products and services and less on your website creation.
Our web design process is:
- Initial contact
- Initial meeting
- Scope definition
- Site map and wireframe
- Post Launch
Our Web Design Process
1. Initial Contact
This is the first step in the process. It is where you contact us via our online form and say something like:
‘Hi, I am an amazing business and I need a new website, please help me!’
And we say
‘Sure, let’s see if we are the best option for you!’
Crazy, but sometimes we don’t fit every brief. The reasons for this range from budget, time frames, super-dooper crazy customisation and more. So, to keep everyone happy and save precious time, we evaluate the project by asking a few questions. In order to completely understand your project goals and outcomes we will request a questionnaire be completed.
2. Initial Meeting
Once we have agreed that we can help you with your online goals we arrange a meeting or phone conversation. The aim of this phase is to completely understand your expectations and, where applicable, advise you of additional functions that would assist in meeting your goals.
During this meeting we discuss:
- who is the site targeting
- What is the primary aim of the site (inform, sell products, sell services, etc)
- Who are the competitors and should their website inspire this project or be different
- What websites do you like/dislike
- What features are required (or don’t want) and what we recommend to assist in achieving your goals
If these questions are not answered thoroughly the project can go in a completely different direction and not hit the mark. This would result in a website not meeting expectations. Ewwww.
We will also discuss who will be responsible for the site content creation. Copy writing can be completed by you, us or a third party copy writing company. Copy writing is a unique skill that has the ability to boost your site rankings. It is important to NAIL this aspect of your website in order to achieve your goals.
3. Scope Definition
Once we have a thorough understanding of your business, project goals and expectations we will prepare a scope of work. This will allow us to detail what tasks we will complete to achieve your goals. Additionally, we will provide an estimate on your investment of your project.
Once we are on the same page, we complete an official agreement. From here you and your team approve the agreement and send through your current marketing material (Logo, company branding, etc)
4. Site Map & Wire Frame
The purpose of this phase is to map out your site structure and analyse the content hierarchy.
During this phase we offer a wireframe design for feedback to ensure the project is on the right track.
Sometimes, the wireframe part can be skipped if we have a smaller project or we are 100% convinced we are all over the design brief. The wireframe is a layout of what your website will look like in box format.
Now for the exciting part!! This is the phase we get to work on the design of your website. With a combination of creativity and strategy, we design your website using the approved scope of work and wireframes. Throughout this process we keep you in the loop by emailing visual updates.
In order to complete our work we will request:
- Company logo
- Company style guides
- Images and video assets
- Content and copywriting
- Login details for current services (current website, hosting etc)
Web development aka the technical phase is the next step of the web design phase. Once the design has been approved we set out recreating the design using the agreed platform, most likely WordPress or Shopify. The development phase is where code, motion and styling turn the design into a website.
For this phase you will need your website hosting and content management system configured. From here we will implement your approved design into a website using a CMS (ie WordPress), third party plugins and your supplied content.
Prior to launching your website we run tests to ensure all functions are working as required. Even a well planned and designed website can produce errors and mistakes. This phase ensures there are no major or minor errors your visitors will encounter once the site is live.
The testing phase is looking for:
- missing content
- Content errors
- Broken links and buttons
- Errors in forms
- Responsive viewing
- Slow loading speeds
Essentially this phase is the last step in the process before going live. The aim is to iron out any kinks in the site that would affect user experience.
It’s time to launch your new website! You have tested the website and approved the look and feel of the end result. Exciting times!!!
Before we just hit “publish” we need to strategically plan HOW you will let the world know about your website. Strategic planning on the launch announcement is crucial.
A soft launch is where we launch your site without announcing to your audience. This allows for an extra phase of testing to confirm you are absolutely happy with your site and the flow of your pages. Additionally, it gives you time to understand the backend of the site before having real life customer interaction. On top of this, it gives you the chance to prepare your launch announcement.
9. Post Launch
Sometimes things go wrong. Fear not! We are on call for tweaking your new site for any unforeseen errors or alterations we come across.
Over time your needs will evolve and alterations will be required to ensure you are converting and gaining visitors to your site.