Creating a successful website is all about process. A good web design process helps you get the ideas out of your head and into a format that can help you make logical samasitu.com design decisions. Breaking the process down into chunks lets you focus on the most important choices first, without getting bogged down in minutia like using a lighter shade of blue, finding the perfect stock photo, or increasing the size of a logo. This article will walk through my approach to the web design process and how it can be used to create a better website.
Step 1: Content
The first step of any good website design process absolutely needs to be getting content! This content includes analyzing an existing site, surveying stakeholders, doing user research, and much more. We’re going to take this content and turn it into a fully-functional design. Starting the process without it is like building a house without a foundation; it may end up looking pretty, but it’s not going to take long before it crumbles down.
This article assumes you’re starting with this content and here are some resources for getting that done:
Content Strategy for the Web, 2nd Edition – Amazon
Starting Out Organized: Website Content Planning the Right Way – Smashing Magazine
Step 2: Project Analysis
After you’ve got all your content, the next step is to take it and break it into pieces that will help guide your architectural and design decisions.
These design items include:
A list of user goals – What are users trying to accomplish?
A list of stakeholder goals – What do the stakeholders in the project want to accomplish?
Brand guides and styles – Is the site professional, fun, artistic, modern, or rugged?
Your architectural pieces will include (Visio & Omnigraffle are useful for site maps and diagrams):
A site map – How will the user navigate through the site? How can content be logically grouped?
User flow diagrams – What steps will the user take to accomplish their goals?
Back-end requirements – What technologies will be used to make the site functional?