Web design, where to start?
By Raeleen| 2 February 2022
So you need a new website and you don’t know where to start? This is your guide to getting started on your website. Discover how following a structured website design process is essential in delivering a successful website.
The Website Design Process
Here at Mettro, we’ve developed a web design process that guides us and our clients through the planning and building stage of a website.
The process is in place to ensure the successful delivery of the website. It helps both us and the client to be on the same page.
The web design process allows us to have a clear understanding of the goals of the website, the requirements of the client, the needs of the target audience, the timeframe and other important details regarding the project. Likewise, it makes everything much more efficient and prevents costly and time-consuming reworks.
For the clients, the process helps them know what to expect as they will be made aware of the step by step process from the very beginning. Likewise, they will be involved at some points during the entire process and their contribution is critical for the success of the project.
Below is our website design process checklist.
Phase 1: Brief and Brainstorm
Your website needs to be right for you and your business and to fit the needs of your dream customers.
To be able to build a website that fits your business goals and your customers, we need to deeply understand your goals, pain points, key stakeholder feedback and current systems successes/failures/opportunities.
That is why it is crucial for us to conduct brief and brainstorming sessions with you. This is how we can get to know more about your business, your team, your customers, and the specific requirements for your website in more detail.
During this stage, we will ask you to prepare a website brief. It is where you put details about your business as well as your thoughts, ideas, and wishlist for your website.
A website brief should be able to answer the following questions.
- What is your business all about? Who are you and what do you stand for? What is your target market? Who are your competitors?
- Who is your ideal customer? What are their interests and pain points? Where do they live? What sites and platforms do they visit and use?
- What is the main purpose of your site? Is it sales through the door? To get some leads? Is it calls to your call centre? Defining the main purpose of your website will help us determine what functionalities and features are essential for its success.
- What features do you think your website should have?
- What is your estimated budget and time frame?
- What is the look/feel/mood/direction you are going for?
- What existing brand assets do you have? Do you have a company logo and brand colour? Do you have an existing style guide?
- What mobile devices are your end-user using? If you don’t know then it’s time to find out. Check out your old site’s statistics. Do some research.
- Do you want to manage the content of your website? If so, what type of content will you be managing and what control is important to you?
- Do you have an existing copy? Who will be doing the copywriting? How much time can you put aside to write this content?
- Do you have existing graphics and images that you will use for your website? If there’s none or you need to add more, what is your plan to get the images that will be used for your site?
- What are your plans for search engine optimisation? Are you prepared to spend a monthly amount on it or do you just want your site to be ready for it as it’s something you’ll do down the track?
- What level of website maintenance and support are you expecting?
- Do you have a website host or do you need help in setting one up?
- What type of analytics do you need? Would Google analytics suffice? Do you have an existing account?
- Do you have a social media presence? How would you like the content on your site shared?
The website brief will ensure that everything is clear cut. It will be the basis for the next stages of our website design process.
Phase 2: Analysis & Specification
In this stage, we will undertake a comprehensive review of all the information gathered during the brief and brainstorming process.
We will also review business background material, content and technology so that we can provide a baseline and build recommendations.
We will also conduct additional research and workshops as necessary to get more understanding about the company and the business including staff experience, conversion points, etc.
We will then prepare a blueprint document that thoroughly discusses all the aspects of the design and development phases. This will include:
- Workshop Summary
This includes key findings and evaluation of workshop content and synopsis of outcomes
- Wireframes and Top-level Navigation Workflows
Wireframes show the skeletal framework of the website and act as a guide of how the website will look.
- Content Management Specification
This will provide details as to what the best content management platform to use for the website, and define the user roles, workflows, forms, security and key functionality.
- All other technical and development requirements
Phase 3: Design & Development
Once the blueprint has been finalised and signed, the next step is the design and development stage of the website.
During this stage, we work on the user experience and interface design, content and data assets, systems integration and other aspects of design and development according to the specifications in the blueprint.
Phase 4: Pre-Launch/User Acceptance Testing
Before going live, our Quality Assurance team will test the website to make sure everything is working properly and in accordance with the specification outlined in the blueprint. Among other things that will be tested are:
- Website performance
- Website’s usability
- Browser compatibility
- other errors (if links, audio, video etc. are properly working)
As part of our procedure, we will also let you test the website thoroughly.
All feedback will be collated and addressed in a controlled process. We can make fixes as required and ensure the best possible outcome by the time we go live.
Phase 5: Go live & Delivery
When everything has been thoroughly tested and fixed the website will go live and we will turn over the site to you.
One of the most important things we can do to ensure the optimal performance and longevity of your site is to train your team thoroughly during the handover stage. The practical training session is carried out via a series of training videos that you can watch again if you need a refresher.
Phase 6: Post-Launch/Support & Maintenance
It is important to have a well-defined website design process to make things more efficient and smooth. It will help ensure that the end product is up to the requirements of the client and is delivered on time.
As a client, you will be involved in some of the stages of building your website so it is important for you to understand the whole web design process.
You will be preparing a website brief containing detailed information about your company, your customers, and your goals. Likewise, you will be involved in approving the design and testing the website. Your staff will also undergo training before the website is turned over to you.
Web design and Development Agency in Brisbane
Mettro is a proudly Queensland, independently owned and operated digital agency that has been delivering award-winning website design & development and digital marketing for over 20 years. We are dedicated to solving our client’s business problems with smart, simple digital solutions and have the testimonials to prove it.
We’ve built thousands of digital solutions including apps, eCommerce websites, custom software, eLearning applications, WordPress websites and Shopify Websites.
Our website design team is second-to-none with a focus on real user experience and creative interface designs, and our website development team delivers quality online customer experiences and measurable benefits to our clients every time.
We have a talented marketing strategy and creative team, renowned for designing and producing compelling digital campaigns, effective content marketing strategies, digital marketing and results-driven SEO.