Web Design Process Overview
I thought it may be interesting to some designers to learn how I undertake a typical web design project, all my projects follow a methodology. This methodology is a step by step guide that I have created to produce a successful website, my process is split into 4 linear steps:
Phase 1: Strategy
I Listen carefully to you and ask questions to determine your specification, for example: what your business goals are and how the website fits in with your overall Marketing Strategy.
Who your users are and what they need to get done, what should users type into Google to find you, I clarify this with keyword research.
I identify brand principles, company style of communication, brand colors, logo, language etc.
Phase 2: Plan
From my fact finding in I create a few graphs and charts to record this data; sitemap to show web page layout, siteframe to show usability/calls to action, mood board and graphical mock up that represents your branding.
I ensure users goals are identified and their calls to actions planned out in the siteframe.
Using information architecture I map out your content for ease of navigation and usability and plan what technologies will be used in the project.
Phase 3: Build
A database is setup to store your data, a CMS so you can manage the website, programming languages and graphics create your custom theme, this is bolted into the CMS,.
Navigation structure is set up and content added with the correct keyword density.
Web forms and calls to action are added, analytics for your web stats and finishing touches like a favicon and email boxes. The validity of the programming languages, content code, special features and email forms all need to be tested for better performance , stability and robustness.
I test that your website displays correctly across a myriad of web browsers and that images are web safe.
Phase 4: Promote
In depth keyword research and Search Engine Optimization can finely tune your website performance for its keywords.
I usually let the analytics software collate data for a few months and from these finds we can tweak the websites usability to improve conversions.
Email campaigns and social marketing can help bring in return visitors and keep them involved and updated.
This is an overview but from this you can get a feeling of my work flow, the order in which I undertake my tasks and the main documents, techniques and graphs I use to plan and implement the design.
I know lots of designers whom just use an organic process, but personally I find I can create a greater quality build with my check points in place.
Do you see any missing steps I could add or techniques that would improve my process?