Through this one page, I am trying to accumulate the whole process of website creation. In most cases, you can follow web designing process step by step for a successful and speedy completion of website. However, there are situations when you need to quit one or two steps in between and then come back to those steps for better execution. Well, this is absolutely dependent on the nature of project and one man who can decide the right approach is always the project manager.
Good luck for your project! Read on…
1- Web designing process, Step1 – Get idea
You should ask yourself if you really need a website. A website starts with an idea of being public. Explore the idea and set goals for your website. If you are clear about your goals and purpose of your website, you can easily determine your target audience. Target audience generally defines the age group of your website visitors who come to your site with shared interest.
2- Get ready with enough information
Purpose of your website determines right content and helps to define target audience.
Ask your client, what information he is willing to publish; and to which extent he wants his website to be used. Collect all the necessary information from him. Enquire if he can provide some textual content or digital media files. Open up, ask, suggest and discover more about his motives and expectations. This is very useful because your client may ask you to update website content or its features and functionalities anytime; even when it’s under construction or even after its completion.
3- Start planning and documentation
Start planning the website, work on its structure, organize all the available content and develop information architecture. You can draw a site map at this point and give details of every section in written. This is about defining the total number of pages, their roles and purpose and bind them in one gift box so that, when opened, they are visible and easily accessible.
This is important to understand that a site map is not just list of available web pages but hierarchy of page organization and presents a good idea of website structure. You can also explore the possibilities of website navigation before moving to next step.
4- Prepare a wireframe layout
Pick up pencil and paper to draw a layout for your website. Based on your planning and documentation, try to design a layout which can make best use of your website. You should use wireframe style to see the possibilities of layouts as part of pre-production. Wireframe layout forms a base for template designing. Show your one or two layouts to your client; ask him for reviews and comments in written and see if he likes it. Or be ready for few more efforts until he says ‘OK’.
5- Next comes designing and visualization!
Now, ask your creative designer to work on design mock ups. You got the idea, content, information architecture, a wireframe layout and most important – purpose of your website and target audience. These are the key points which can help a designer to do justice with the feel of website design. The look of your website should support your idea and go with the taste of your target audience at the same time. Spend enough time to finalize a design or template and get it approved by your client.
6- Designing user interface elements
User interface designing covers those parts in your design where you want your users to click upon or do other things while interacting with the website. This makes your site interesting and creates opportunity to make your visitors stay long. You already have experienced a triangle (play button) and a square (stop button) on your media player interface. So, may be not complex but there are situations where you must use basic graphical elements for better user experience. You can do it after finalizing web templates.
7- Build templates using web standards
His job is to write codes for each and every page of your website and bind them together to serve as a website. He will integrate the whole site in one place while following the correct site map hierarchy.
8- Programming and development
The moment your designers are working on codes and integration, you can ask your web developers to come into action. They are engineers who convert your website into a machine which gets dynamic and advanced with features, functions and services. They do server installations, database designing, online applications, content management and much more to convert your project into power packed online stop.
9- Get your website ready with content and multimedia
If you are done with design and development, publish to test and start putting text and other contents into your web pages. All this designing and development is meant for presenting the information nicely and interestingly. Do not load your website with too much texts and images but place enough content which can satisfy a common visitor with its originality and completeness.
You would be busy with loading content and data at this step, but make sure that all media files are optimized for web and file size was taken into consideration when processed.
10- Test your website before and after the UPLOAD
You are through the designing process but this is the start of endless maintenance job
While following the process, a good project manager is advised to test his website at every step to make sure that everything is going with planning and precision. For designers, taking previews is a human tendency while being creative. However if you have not tested it yet, take help of quality assurance lead and diagnostic tools to make sure that results are not showing errors.
Upload your website, run it through and experience it yourself. Go for last minute tweaks and pieces of code if necessary. Got an error free website? Congratulations!
While your client would be partying to celebrate the successful launch of his much awaited project, your job does not end here. A successful website stands for a successful marketing tool. It should grow its number of visitors over the time and this requires timely updates, support of new technologies, managed servers and a vision for its future developments. The real hard work is maintaining a position when you achieve it and looking for further advancements. You are through the designing process but this is the start of endless maintenance job.
Good luck again!