WEB DESIGN PROCESS:
The purpose of web design is to facilitate communication between user and content. Designing for the web means designing for the way people actually use the web, not how we think they should.
I gather all requirements from the user for the project.
The key objectives of the planner:
Find out who the client is and what they do
Who their target market/user is
Who their competition is
What deliverables they want from me
Timeframe and budget
I am responsible for the XHTML/CSS templates for the your project.
Research & Ideas:
I start research for your site competitors and where ideas can be improved and implemented.
Information Architecture & Sitemap:
I should mention here that at each stage I get feedback from the client and discuss it. It’s important to make sure they’re involved the whole way through the process.
For IA I jot down every section of the website on post-its and arrange them (on a wall or fridge) in order of importance. This is an great technique (that I was first introduced to by Front) that allows you to easily change and rearrange your order. In the end you will end up with various levels of importance, which will help with your sitemap and wireframes.
Once I settle and I produce a sitemap. I usually produce the sitemap in Fireworks. The reason I use Fireworks is it allows me to move pages about (unlike using paper) and it also produces a professional outcome that I can pass onto the client.
I start by sketching wireframes and then move onto Fireworks to produce more professional looking wireframes that I can pass onto the client and depending on the project I could produce 1, 2 or 3 wireframes.
Once the client is happy with the wireframes it is time to open Photoshop and start with a fresh canvas. The good thing about this process is that I now have a wireframe to build the design over.
Some key things to keep in mind here:
Branding – tying in with the overall brand, colours, mood
Grid – keeping the elements structured and to a grid system is important
Development – bare in mind this has to be produced in CSS so don’t make anything too complicated and keep graphics minimal
I also produce a template that has various other styled elements that developers can use if need be, which includes tables, forms, buttons, alerts etc..more
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Srinivasinfo, Freelance Web Designer, Web Developer from Hyd