Web Design Overview
Web Design is the endeavor of making a website attractive and user friendly while meeting its objectives. Web Design is mostly done early in a web project, but can continue through the Web Development phase and beyond. In this area, client needs vary widely. For example, some have an established brand, while others are starting from scratch. Our role also varies. We work directly with the client, or through the client's designer. Here are tasks that may be required:
Discovery: A period of dialogue, exploration, and research is a smart way to start a project. Deliverables can be: Creative Brief, Business Requirements, Functional Requirements.
Identity Design: If rebranding or just starting out, Identity Design must be done as a prerequisite to (or at least, in tandem with) Web Design. Deliverables can be: Logo (with or without a "mark"), Color Palette, Style Guide. Branding is not our specialty, but we offer referrals.
Site Architecture: What content will visitors see on the website? How will it be organized, prioritized? What must visitors be able to do on the site? (Participate in forums? Buy things?) It is wise to nail down answers to these questions prior to the Web Development phase. Deliverables can be: Content Outline, Site Map, Wireframes.
Graphic / Visual Design: Ideas start to take shape and form. Stakeholders must agree on a look-and-feel. Sometimes the designer nails it on the first round of comps, and sometimes more iteration is needed. Such is the nature of creative work. Deliverables: Design mockups in layered files, usually Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, including (at least) Homepage and Secondary page designs. We do this; or are happy to work with mockups provided by the Client's designer and go directly into the Web Development phase.
Graphic Production: Once the overall design has been signed off on, additional graphics may need to be created, such as additional slides for slideshows. Deliverables: Web graphics.
Copywriting: Website copy is the verbiage that visitors will read on your website. A copywriter may be a subject specialist, a marketing consultant, or a generalist. Deliverables: Website content. We do this; or offer referrals.
Information Design: The creation of "infographics", such as attractive graphs or charts. Deliverables: Web graphics.
Responsive Design: The latest buzz is about making the website "responsive" to different screen sizes. For example, where desktop users might see 3 columns, the template might "drop" down to 1 column for mobile users. This mostly happens in the Web Development phase.
Website Styling: Many aesthetic refinements can be done directly in code (see Web Development). Even if Graphic / Visual Design was done carefully and well, details are tweaked and finalized once the website is in development and viewable in a browser.
Redesign or "Facelift": If a site already exists, it may require improvement using some or all of the above methods.
What can we do for your site?
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