This article identifies the design process and explains what, how and why. There are usually a few steps on the way to perfection, and here they are:
1. Identifying the problem and planning
At this stage is important to establish what are we trying to achieve and what do you expect in long term from your design, website or application. Defining your business needs and target audience, outlining a strategy and detailed development features. Planning includes also a basic site map, choosing a domain name, hosting provider and a development platform.
Researching is often overlooked, but when it comes to design, it remains one of the most essential steps to go through. Considering the potential thoughts of future visitors and their behavious is quite important in order to not only attract their attention straight away, but keep it, too.
3. Wireframing and design
Wireframing comes first, it’s where the basic structure is created. A wireframe doesn’t display finished design, but shows where the elements will be located and outlines how the layout will adapt to different screen resolutions and different devices.
After signing off the wireframes, it’s time for fun! The design, of course my favourite part, is where the overall look and feel is created. Based on the information gathered at planning and researching stage, plus the wireframes, this is where the visual part is completed and you have a clear idea of how the website will look. The communication is very important at this stage, and we will work very closely together to achieve perfection. Amendments at design stage are less costly, because making changes when programming the code is much more time consuming and therefore incurs additional costs.
Development stage is when the website/app is build. The design becomes alive and fully functional and is implemented into the chosen development platform. The features discussed in 1st step are created. This is the stage where the end user documentation (manuals and guides) is prepared. I always recommend the final content to be ready before the wireframing and design, because the design must be created around the content, not the content around the design. Read more about the importance of content here.
Development is usually done on a testing server.
Web based or mobile applications and websites require intensive testing, e.g. cross browser compatibility, different resolutions and devices, speed and loading tests, etc.
After tests have been successfully held and the final approval is given, the website / app is transferred to the chosen hosting and goes alive. Happy days!