A Five-Step Web Design Process for Optimal Workflow
When designing a website, one of the key objectives is to have optimal business workflow and achieve more with less. And to realize that feat, you must first engage in intelligent planning for the project and break it down into smaller feasible steps for successful execution.
Though different web designers have different approaches to their work, there are absolute minimums that every process must encompass. Here are the five web design processes for guaranteed optimal workflow:
Step #1: Make a Creative Design Brief
This first step is a no-brainer. You’ll need a creative design brief that defines your website’s primary goals. The brief should answer questions about critical information such as:
- Target audience: Who’ll be using your website and what will they be using it for?
- Deliverables: How do you plan to measure your web design’s success?
- Content management system (CMS): What platform will you use to create, modify, and manage your content?
- Competitors: What sites are you competing with? What are their design tactics, and what features do they have?
- Website objective: Do you plan to publish content aimed towards selling, informing, triggering users to sign up for a service, or something else?
Answering these and more similar questions in the content brief creates a clear road map of the direction your design process should follow. If you plan to task someone else with designing your website, then the creative design brief is a must-have.
Step #2: Devise a Strategy
Without a clear-cut strategy, you may end up exceeding your budget or estimated timelines. Your web design strategy should capture the following aspects:
Creating a sitemap before starting the design process helps you plan your website navigation more effectively.
The programming language & tech stacks
At the planning stage also, you want to decide on the technical aspects like selecting the tech stacks and the programming language. Conducting an in-depth analysis and studying the technical elements goes along with ensuring that they align with your website goals.
Content strategy planning
Content planning is a must-have if you want to boost the site’s visibility and make it value-adding among users. You need to develop a deliberate strategy to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert users to customers.
Step #3: Design
Here, you need site mapper online tools like WriteMaps, Photoshop, or Sketch to create various bespoke design elements. Though the design elements tend to vary depending on your website goals, here are some of the standard creations you’ll need to make:
- Color schemes
- Navigation bars
Step #4: Test Your Design
Testing your design should go hand in hand with the development process. Testing for aspects like responsiveness, usability, interface, functionality, security, and performance capabilities. The last thing you want is for your web users to experience slow loading or 404 errors.
- A functionality test ensures that all the features within your website are in place.
- A usability test ensures that the website is easy to use, access, search, or browse.
- A compatibility test ensures that the website is responsive or accessible using different devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Step #5: Launch and Maintain
After testing the design and confirming that everything’s in place, the final assignment is launching and maintaining your website. Launching basically means transferring the design from a local to a live server.
But that’s still not the end of the road. Far from it, the real task begins after the launch.
Maintaining the website is extremely critical if you want to keep it running without hitches. That means uploading new content regularly, watching out for updates, fixing broken links (if any), reviewing and reacting to user feedback, etc.
All these enhance the user experience which is the ultimate goal for any website.
Ready to Design Your Next Website?
Implement these five web design hacks on your next project for guaranteed optimal workflow, great user experience, and high engagement. It all boils down to creating a design brief, devising your strategy, designing the website, testing the mock-up, and launching and maintaining.
Have any questions or suggestions we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below!