The 8 steps of web design
One common question I get,
is how a website job should be planned and executed –
what are the steps? The following is a quick outline of
the process that I have been using for years with good
success – at least most of the time web design is fun
- Figure out what
the focus of the
web design will be.
- What specific
features do you want in the website.
- Create a list of
sections for your website and give them a hierarchy
- Write out your
content and finalize it.
- Find a style /
look that meets your website’s and your industry’s
- Build the website.
- Evaluate the
web design and make the required changes
- Go live – register
a domain, find a host, upload create website.
1. THE FOCUS OF THE
This is the first thing
you want to define clearly before any other
taken. You need to decide what the main purpose of the
website is - what you want to focus on in terms of a
It is important that
you define this step as clearly as possible because a
website’s focus has a major impact on the whole project;
this is the ‘foundation’ of the site.
- A web store.
- Information hub
for established clients.
- Branding website.
2. SPECIFIC WEBSITE
This builds off of the
first step, where now you look at actual features that
you need to implement. For example:
- A shopping cart
for an online store
- A password
protected section of the website
Again, the more detail
3. MAP OUT THE MAJOR
SECTIONS OF THE WEBSITE
With the first two
steps completed, you’re ready to actually start mapping
out the major sections of the website; drawing out quick
diagrams of the website is a useful way of doing this.
A diagram can easily
show the hierarchy of a website and how the various
sections are related to each other.
4. WRITE OUT YOUR
This part is usually
left to the end … then people wonder why they have to go
back and rethink the structure of the site.
All websites are driven
by content; it’s the content that makes a site effective
and successful. As such, this part of the process is
arguably the most important, so you need to pay
attention to it.
5. FIND A STYLE / LOOK
FOR THE WEBSITE
At this stage of the
process, you are ready to start looking at the visual
aspect of the site – the design. You have a few options:
- Hire a graphic
designer / web designer to create website
- Come up with your
own design – I’m assuming you have some artistic and
BlueVoda and save time and money
with no html to learn.
6. BUILD THE WEBSITE
Yes, I know it seems
impossible but you can finally start building the actual
site at this point!
With the above
questions answered and steps completed, you’ll find the
process of building the website (actually writing out
the code,) is much easier and you will have reduced the
chance of having to go back and redo things.
7. EVALUATE THE
WEBSITE, MAKE THE REQUIRED CHANGES / UPDATES
Once you've built the
website, you should walk away from it for a day or two.
This will allow you to come back and evaluate it with
fresh eyes. It might also be a good idea to get someone
who has not worked on the site, to take a look as well.
Here are some of the
things you should be looking for:
- Clean easy to
update web design structure.
- Good usability in
the html design - and all that implies.
- Fast loading
- Intelligent use of
technology - using html and Flash when it makes sense not
because you want a 'cool' intro!
website’s ability to convey the meaning/message of
the website quickly if not instantly.
8. GO LIVE – REGISTER
A DOMAIN, FIND A HOST
UPLOAD THE WEBSITE.
If you’ve passed steps
1 to 7, you know you're ready to show the world the
website. All that is left to do is go live:
- Register a domain
- Find a hosting
- Upload the website
NOTE: You could
actually register the domain and find a hosting company
to create website after you’ve completed the first 4 steps. Sometimes it
makes sense to register your domain name before you
design the website; this is because you may want to
integrate the domain name into the design.
If you follow these
steps, and not let pressures from your clients (or
anything else) sway you, you’ll find yourself working
more quickly and under less stress, while delivering a
better website for your client – everyone wins.