Web Design Process: What Are the 4 Key Stages?
Like any complex task, the web design process requires careful planning and a clear understanding of all necessary stages. This is the only right way to ensure the gradual development and launch that will generate a seamless result. Unfortunately, many beginners and even professional web designers follow very similar protocol in every project, making no effort to categorize and optimize them. They fail to admit that planning helps to avoid unexpected issues and complete all deadlines on time.
This article is going to help you out and save your time. Relying on our personal experience and expert knowledge, we have compiled the list of the 4 key stages of the web design process. They will come in handy to both experienced designers who lack good organizational skills, web development newbies, and those who plan to hire a web design services company and would like to learn more about the website design process.
Main Steps In Web Design Process
#1. Evaluate the Expectations and Needs
While many people think that a quality web page is all about a nice structure and professional code, in reality, everything is much more complex. Before you start creating a website, you need to analyze its target niche and audience. This will help you understand what kind of page will attract the interest of users, engage, and retain them. At this stage, it’s important to realize the initial needs of a customer and collect more details about:
- Customer’s business
- Competition on the market
- Company’s unique offerings
- Potential goals of the website
- Target audience of the website
- Customer’s budget
This takes some extra effort, but it will definitely be paid back. The initial evaluation will help you to realize how the final resource should look like and what must be done to achieve this.
#2. Define the Scope and Plan
This stage may turn out to be a harsh one. As the project evolves and the client comes up with new requirements and ideas, designers and developers may face some unpredictable challenges. Especially, in the case of the limited budget and approaching deadline.
Planning and scope evaluation is the only way to prevent this. When the tasks of the website design process are clearly described and have a timeframe, the design team will have no problems completing them on time. This is greatly based on the mentioned evaluation stage and customer assessment. Professional evaluation lowers the chance of unexpected changes in the web design process.
It is also crucial to create a site map and build a wireframe for the future website during this stage.
#3. Web Page Design, Development, and Testing
Once you completed the previous steps, it is time to choose any free or paid online design creator with templates or opt-in for professional web design services. We mostly describe the process for a customized web page with unique design. Also, read the article about the differences between custom web development and website builder tools if you consider using website builder tools.
When the preparatory web design works are completed and the project is laid out, it is time to get the technical work started. Now professional web developers need to make a move to complete the following actions:
- Create, review, and approve mock-ups
- Write CSS/HTML for basic design
- Implement the development framework
- Create page templates (if necessary)
- Develop special and interactive features
- Add content to the website
- Conduct QA tests
These are the main tasks which may vary depending on the project specifications. They are necessary to create the solid tech basis of a website and ensure its seamless operation in the future.
#4. Website Launch and Maintenance
Finally, you can enjoy the results and see how everything operates in reality. After the development is finished, you need to prepare the website for public access. Make sure to polish all design elements, links, interactive details and don’t forget about user experience. Also, at this step, you may need to migrate the resource to a permanent web server and make the last check before you submit the project to the customer.
After that, you may be asked to continue maintaining the website. The maintenance phase is an ongoing process necessary to support, update, and refine the web resource like a real living organism. It’s extremely crucial to attract visitors and keep them satisfied to achieve the expected website goals.