Whoa! Website design is not really about designing. Interestingly enough, the actual (graphic) design portion of the process takes less than 20% of the overall project time. So, what does go into the brilliant website design process?
- a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of X
- purpose, planning, or intention that exists or is thought to exist behind an action, fact, or material object
My two favourite words in the above description are: plan + purpose. So, long story short, what we are doing during a website design process – we plan, and we pay attention to the purpose (function).
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. — Steve Jobs
Step 1. Content Strategy
Marketing is all about content. Frankly, I think marketing and content are in a way synonymous. There’s no good marketing, without clever content. And your website is the hub of the most important content you will ever produce for the marketing purposes. Naturally, this is the first step in web development process – to define the strategy for your content.
Try it yourself:
- Sit down and write out all of your business objectives for the next 6-12 months and for the next 2-3 years
- Next to the objectives, describe what kind of message/content would support your objective
- Lastly, outline the medium and the section/page on your website that will help you to deliver this content to your potential client
Step 2. Sitemap + wireframes
At this stage you will be testing how well you’ve outlined your content strategy in Step 1. If you were diligent enough, you should have a super clear picture of how many pages your website will have and what type of information you should include one every page, to support your business’s vision.
For instance, are you looking to increase leads? (And who doesn’t?) Make sure you have a clear call to action across the site and the place where people would leave their email addresses. Now, because you have done Step 1 – you know that you need to provide engaging, useful content to your customers, to have them interested in your services. Think, what would that be? Is is a white paper? (Or Branding GreenPaper in our case.)
Step 3. Design + Coding
Now, we are ready to do the geeky stuff. Web design and development will come to fruition with the usual graphic design of your homepage (applying all visual styles to the inner pages), and then coding.
As you see, the biggest portion of website design process is dedicated to planning and strategy, taking the time to visualize your project, and most importantly to connect the functions of your website with your business’s objectives.
Happy Strategizing! Let us know how it goes!