So every web developer/ agency has their own web design process when working with clients. Like I mentioned on “Why Your Web Design Clients are Just Like Little Kids” your process must have structure if you want get good results for you clients and be efficient with your time. As simple as that may sound, setting the stages for a process and actually following it are two different things, especially when there is a client involved. I’ll share our process which we are following for the past two years after trying a few different things .There are a lot of versions for the web design process so feel free to comment with your own. Regardless to what stages of the process you choose to follow make sure you stick to it and follow through.
Client Talk – Getting on the same page
The process starts with the client. If you aim to deliver a product that your client will be happy with you have to really understand them. Try to understand how they see the project, what are they’re objectives, what goals are they looking to achieve with their website. Remember, some clients do not share your terminology and are not able to express themselves when it comes to the web. Be super patient and try to understand the meaning behind their words, it is up to you to translate their words into a great looking website.
Reference – Inspiration galore
Once you have a good idea as to how your client sees the project (how ever vague it might be) you can put that aside and start thinking about how you incorporate your client’s vision with your web building skills to create a pleasing outcome. Start searching the web for interesting stuff, you can start from things like competitors’ websites and go as far as exploring a completely different industry. It is all a part of the process, and as long as it gets your creative juices flowing, it’s fair game.
After doing that, you can start comparing the things you found as inspiration with the client’s wishes and start to mold them together. Send the references to your client along with a short explanation on how you think they are relevant to the project. Usually at the end of this stage you should start having a sense of how the project is going to look.
Prototype – What goes where
Getting down to business. The first stage of the actual product is the prototype, a layout of the website and the structure of the different pages. Some people like to do something called a web map before they get to the prototype stage but I never saw the need. You can use Axure or Sketch to make the prototype, it doesn’t have to be beautiful, in fact if it has some kind of design you’ll find that your clients are giving you feedback about it and that, of course, is not the point. This skeleton of the website should give a very clear view about the essence without any of the distraction. Making sure you and your client are on the same page in this stage is crucial for the rest of the web design process, it will prevent a lot of misunderstandings along the way and save you a lot of time.
Design – Make it beautiful
The design stage is obviously an important stage. This is the part when you let you creative juices flow and start cracking at a design that is not only beautiful but is also right for your clients’ needs. Concentrate on making a design that is functional and remember, you’re not making art here, the website design has to serve a certain goal, so try to have that goal in mind while you design. Oh, and make it beautiful.
Programming – Make it come alive
After agreeing with the client on the design, you’ll move on to programming the website. Usually we agree with the client on the platform we are going to build the website on (WordPress, Shopify, Custom) in the initial price quote stage so there is no need to get any further confirmation from our client at this point. We get to work programing the website and try to stick to the design we agreed upon with our client as much as humanly possible. After we get the website on to the development URL we start the feedback process with the client using our very own Webscope.
Bug control – Make sure it’s working
After getting the website exactly to your client satisfaction, we upload the website to its domain. This is the stage when sometimes things get a bit out of whack and you need to double check the entire website and make sure everything is in place. and you’re pretty much done.
This is our process for making a website, of course it is super important to let the client know the process before you begin and let them know where you are in the process at every stage. What do think? got a different process? I would love to hear about it in the comments.
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