At Three Girls Media we break down the web design process into six distinct phases:
To ensure that your final website delivers all your needs and fulfills all of your requirements, the initial meeting and/or discussions that we have with you about the proposed website are crucial to our understanding of the purpose of the site and our ability to provide exactly what you need.
We will ask you lots of questions – some you will have thought about, and some you may not have. This phase is crucial as it will help us to determine:
- The purpose of the site and its target audience.
- The technologies that the site will use.
- Any specific functionality that may have to be programmed into the site.
One of the great things about the internet is that it is very easy to see what your competitors are up to! It is very useful for you as client to spend some time looking at your competitors websites to see what style you do and don’t like. You can also establish what functionality their websites have and that can help you to decide what functionality you need. Of course, we will do that research too.
As your web designers, we can then help you to improve on the elements of your competitors’ websites that you do like, and probably improve on their functionality too. We will help you to find great examples of functions that may be useful to your customers, and then tell you how they could be better implemented.
We will look at the websites of large companies and small companies, and with technology changing quickly, it is often possible to implement functions that a few years ago only the largest companies could afford, for very little cost. The one thing that you can rely on, is we will only suggest things if we believe that they will genuinely benefit your customers and their user experience.
The result of this research and evaluations should be a Specification Document. This should detail the aims and objectives of the site, its intended target audience, details of the proposed user experience, timescales and goals. Yes – it is very likely that this ay change along the way, but as with all well thought out projects, starting with a plan is essential.
The third stage of the design process is to consider the proposed structure of the site. The goal is to produce a draft site map.
What is hugely important in web design is taking the end user on a journey – but leading them on that journey. There must be a logical progression to that journey, and along the way we must ensure that the audience is exposed to all the information that our research demonstrates the they will want. It may be that different areas of the site are required for different elements of your target audience, and so giving the user options to go in different directions is important.
At this stage we will also discuss the objectives for the home page and start to consider the look and feel of the site.
At this stage we will be assisting you with the preparation of content for the website. This may involve creation of new content or re-working of existing marketing materials for web use.
It will should also involve preparation of graphics which may be a mixture of existing graphics and images, or sourcing of new images either commissioned or purchased from stock libraries.