From a websites consultant’s perspective, by far the most important part of the website design process is the discovery phase. This is the first step in the process and includes research and analysis to investigate how the website can best serve the needs of the business and its customers. Our discovery phase is fast becoming one of the cornerstones of our service and crucial for clients, since it puts the achievement of business goals at the heart of the digital strategy.
The discovery phase encompasses ten key steps and starts with a combination of desk research and background reading, followed by a workshop. This process enables us to work closely with each client, sense check any assumptions and create a tight specification for the website build and future development. It allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the business, which in turn means we can make better design decisions. The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) can be decided on in the discovery phase. And we might even decide that the company needs an app, intranet or extranet and not necessarily a website.
A strategy that guides the web design process to efficiency and meeting the website goals. This means the web design strategy is aligned with the website communication strategy: the way of communicating with clients, and the manner of transmitting the company message to clients should be in line with the website design.
In other words, making your website look fine does not, in any case, conflict with the website purpose and objectives.
We’ll take the web design strategy step by step and show you how to create one and start on a solid basis in building your new website:
Keep in mind that a website is the carrier of the message that goes from one company to its potential clients. So, it’s obvious you need to first perfectly define the company who transmits the message and the potential clients who receive it.
First, what are website wireframes? They are visual representations of a website scheme, the skeletal framework of a website. It has no added colors, color schemes, logo, specific fonts or elaborate content. It serves only as a guide showing how the website will look like in its final form.
Creating a website wireframe is part of the initial design process. It’s one of the first steps to take in a website design.
The wireframe comes as the initial step in a web design process that has to succeed. We create one or several versions of website schematic representations that we’ll show to the client. By starting a discussion at this level in the process, you can cut and trim, change and adapt, so you and the client agree upon the structure of the future website.
Thus, you limit the errors that might appear in the website structure, whose corrections will be much more costly at an advanced step of the web design process.
It serves for:
*Sketching a draft of how the website should look like; a preview of the form and structure the website will have. If changes have to be done, it’s better to intervene in this early stage of the design, and not involve big costs to alter important parts of the website in its nearly final form.
*Communicating among team members, and as a starting point for any ideas of improvement of the future website.
4. UI / UX Design
The UI/UX Design Process is a methodology that, if followed, allows you to polish your user interfaces to be the best one possible for your business. If this process is not followed, then it may end up in a situation where you need to keep redesigning ourselves every time!
Well, now let us delve into the topic!
The entire UI/UX design process can be divided into 5 phases. The responsible department of your organization will be analyzing every single step, and hence it becomes almost perfect!
The various steps involved in the User experience design process are as follows:
4.1. Product Definition
Product Definition is the first phase involved in the user design process. The team responsible for this will collect the user requirements based on their business environment.
It’s very much essential because understanding about the real scope of the product and their existence happens in this phase.
It’s simple; before beginning the work, enlighten your UI/UX designers about the requirements!
People involved in this phase are Design Team, Business Manager, and Product Manager. The entire team should consult with clients in their environment. Analyze their needs within the framework of your operation.
The significant outcomes of this phase are User Personas, User Stories, and Use Case Diagrams.
The research is the most crucial element for a designer. The designing team studies how the present system works for the current client proposal. The three main functions at this stage are:
Have an understanding of the competition.
Making a thorough study of your existing domain.
Going through competitor strategy to test outcomes.
The Research process should also involve an understanding of the latest UI/UX trends, design principles, and guidelines.
In this phase, make use of the things collected in the Research phase. With the help of the information received, create hypothetical personas, and experience maps.
Hypothetical Personas: Creating hypothetical scenarios help the designers to know about the various persons who will be the users of your product. It allows depicting the realistic representation of the ultimate product. The design team can figure out how it is going to look like after delivery.
Experience Maps: Experience maps shows the user flow within your final product. All these are done using visual representations through proper interactions with the client in the product definition phase.
In the design process, we finally end up giving life to ideas that we have collected in the above three steps. It’s time to work on the final graphics now. The design team will execute the final design in this phase.
The significant outcomes of the designing phase are:
Sketching: The designing phase begins with sketching. The designers usually make hand made sketches to visualize the concept with simple terms. The UI/UX designers can stick to a particular option after the sketching process.
Creating wireframes: A wireframe is a visual structure that depicts the page hierarchy and the elements in the product. A wireframe is considered as the backbone of the product. It’s also called the skeleton of the design. It’s mostly about the overall look of the final product.
Creating Prototypes: Prototypes concentrate on the feel of the UI/UX product that one is designing. It’s more about the interaction experience. Prototypes give you the effect of a simulator.
Creating Design Specifications: Design specification includes user flow and task flow diagrams. It depicts the overall working and the style requirements of the UI/UX product. It describes the processes and graphical elements to create amazing user experiences.
4.5. Validation or Testing
Testing is the phase that determines the overall quality of the end- product. The testers make notes of the things that have to be improved and send them back to the respected team for correcting the errors.
While evaluating your final product, there are certain factors that one needs to keep in mind. They are as follows:
Is the system user-friendly?
Is it flexible and easy to operate?
Does it solve the customer’s issue?
Is it credible and attracts the users to come back every time they need your service?
Once the designs have been approved, the technical work can begin on creating the actual website. This involves a lot of coding, testing, and troubleshooting. A demo site should be implemented so the client can get a feel for how the live site will feel, be able to make recommendations based off of what they do and don’t like, and can also help to catch any potential errors our team may have missed. We also perform various cross browser and device compatibility tests to ensure the new site will perform seamlessly on all devices and latest browsers.
6. USER TESTING
User testing—which is part of a user-centered design philosophy—is one of the most important aspects of a designer’s job. It’s not just about stunning visuals (the surface). It’s about solving a problem effectively; something that can only be accomplished by repeated testing and with many iterations on the design. It’s an excellent way to gain valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t.
After the technical aspects of the website have been completed, it’s time to launch the website and go live. Final testing phases should be completed as a last line of defense against any small errors, but the site should be ready to be made public. We also implement our comprehensive SEO checklist on all websites that go live to ensure we are adhering to the latest best practices set forth by search engines and that our site is ready to get crawled and optimized.