7 Phases of the Web Design Process

Do you know there are around 1.8 billion websites across the internet?

Yes, the number is quite huge. No doubt, the world wide web is overflowing with millions and zillions of websites. Out of these, you may have stumbled upon that perfect web design you were yearning to create.

Have you ever wondered:

  • Why did that particular design appeal to you?
  • What was so unique about that design?
  • How strategically color schemas and web design elements are used?

You are going to get answers to all these questions by following the right web design process. So, let’s begin.

Introduction

Designing a website isn’t just a matter of content management, code, wireframe, cool visuals, code, or social media integration; but much beyond that. The ultimate aim of web design and development is to reach organizational goals.

We, at Space-O Technologies, don’t just create interactive designs; we create brands. Whether it is for mobile apps or websites, our skilled design and development team believes in crafting designs that appeal to your target audience.

We wrote this blog with the help of our web design team head to share our process of creating web designs that stand out from the crowd. Let’s understand from the basics:

7 Steps Web Design Process

A web design incorporates different disciplines and skills to develop and maintain a website. Different areas of web design include graphic design, user experience design, user interface design, and search engine optimization. Precisely, it is the step-by-step process to make a fully functional website.

Prior to creating a planning stage, you must understand the website design process flow. A web designer should primarily focus on content when considering steps in web design process. Since the business will advertise their product or service with engaging content and flowless web design.

So, here are the 7 web design process steps that help you to shape your web design workflow.

  1. Define the Goal

  2. Many web designers solely focus on style when it comes to implementing the web design steps. It may influence the visitors but jotting down the goals helps to provide you with a clear understanding of requirements.

    define the goal

    Before defining a clear goal about your website designing project, it is crucial to clarify the below questions

    • Who is your target audience?
    • What will the user achieve by accessing the website?
    • Will the visual design convey the message?
    • How can my website be unique from the competitors?

    If you have answers to these questions, your project may never go in the wrong direction. These questions need to be answered with the utmost clarity. Before you go ahead with the planning phase. These questions will help you with the full suite of web designing.

    The basic checklist

    • Perform complete competitor analysis
    • Answer each question clearly before starting a web design process
    • Note down your business and customer needs

    Typical time required to complete this step

    • 8 hours

    What are the points that need to be taken care of during this phase?

    • Thorough assessment
    • Research
  3. Validate Your Idea

  4. After structuring the information about the goal, now is the time to validate your idea.

    validate your idea

    Idea validation is the core part of the web design process to make your service, product, or business viable by testing it in numerous ways. To build a sustainable business, it is crucial to test and validate your idea before launching your website.

    Idea validation aims to share your idea with the right audience, before the launch phase.

    Rather than spending thousands of dollars in the development phase, idea validation will help you to save money and resources. It will tell you whether or not to invest in the business or product you are planning to develop.

    The basic checklist

    • Define a problem
    • Define a client
    • Define what value you are offering to users

    Typical time required to complete this section

    • 3 Days

    What are the points that need to be taken care of during this phase?

    • Research about your competitors and audience
    • Scrape forums by finding the business problems and contacts of relevant ads
    • Start a blog to share information and communicate with the right audience
    • Create an effective landing page
    • Initiate an ad campaign to know what clients likes and dislikes about your product

    Want to Validate Your Web Idea?

    Get a free consultation from our web design experts

  5. Creating Sitemap and Wireframe

  6. Sitemap

    As we have seen in the above step, you need to validate your idea before planning to create a sitemap. A sitemap is one of the essential steps to designing a website. It is a blueprint of your existing website.

    Creating Sitemap and Wireframe

    Additionally, by creating a sitemap you are allowing the web designer to understand the website’s information architecture. In short, it will help you to structurize your design and development process.

    Moreover, it will help to understand the connection between the different pages and content elements in your website. Moreover, it will also be easier for Google to easily find your website, crawl, and index your web page content.

    Importance of Creating an Information Architecture

    Prior to creating a wireframe, it is essential to understand the importance of information architecture. The information architecture focuses on content arrangement. The content arrangement is the key that determines how users interact with your website. For example, the navigation button should be put either on the left or right side.

    Therefore, the wireframe helps to balance out the patterns and website architecture to help solve the overall weaknesses in your web design. Hence, it will also improve your website’s usability.

    Wireframe Development

    To store a visual design and content elements wireframe provides an effective framework. Although the wireframe will not contain the final design, it will help you to identify the potential sitemap gaps and challenges. By structuring the wireframe, you can take reference from that wireframe design later on.

    wireframing

    There are many tools to create wireframes like Webflow or Balsamiq. Also, you may try to draw wireframes on paper to unleash your creativity. When it comes to choosing the right wireframe tool, make sure to select the tool which fulfills your design requirements, and stick to that tool(s) only.

    The basic checklist

    • Check the sitemap path
    • Submit the sitemap on Google Search Console
    • Specify the location in the robots.txt file
    • Gather tools for wireframing
    • Research about your UX design and target users
    • Perform a usability test to try your design
    • Transform your wireframe into a prototype

    Tools used during this phase

    • Pencil / pen / and paper
    • Balsamiq
    • Moqups
    • Sketch
    • Axure
    • Webflow
    • Slickplan
    • Writemaps
    • Mindnode

    Typical time required to complete this section

    • 3-4 Days

    What are the points that need to be taken care of during this phase?

    • Structurize your design
    • Create an easy-to-understand sitemap structure
    • Design a wireframe with Adobe XD or other tools
  7. Website Design Process

  8. Here comes one of the most crucial phases of web design process, where every element is strategically placed to appeal to your target audience. We have listed some of the important ones:

    designing a website

    Following Wireframe

    The wireframe is a skeleton of the website. The core purpose of creating and following the wireframe is to make a layout and understand how each functionality will integrate into the website.

    UI / UX Design

    The next critical step includes applying brand guidelines and creating a user interface (UI), which includes content development of the website like images and animations. We have mentioned the 2 things here. UI and UX. Let us understand the UI and UX first.

    The UI (User Interface) is focused on the visual and graphical side of the design. In UI following points are included

    • Graphic Design
    • Typography
    • Photo Theory
    • Vector Manipulation
    • Motion Graphics

    Whereas UX (User Experience) is known as the behind-the-scenes of web design. In UX design following points are included

    • Target User
    • Design Interaction
    • Information Architecture
    • Content Strategy
    • Usability Testing

    Apart from focusing on UI and UX part, it is crucial to know your goals to make the design appealing and engaging.

    Animation with Interactive Mockups

    Designing a mockup makes a significant difference when it comes to designing a website. Because, by creating a mockup, you can test your website in a realistic manner, gather stakeholders, and design a perfect website down the line. It is essential to design interactive content. Hence, planning and studying animation elements like buttons, cursor, and hover states can help to design interactive mockups.

    It is essential to discuss the advantages of creating animation mockups for websites. Let us discuss.

    A blend of visuatls and functionality

    It is easy to switch from one screen to another manually. However explaining the entire flow of design to your client gets tougher, if they are only seeing the static page without any functionality. Hence, developing impressive visuals and functional mockups will allow you to stay ahead of the curve. Additionally, it will help your client or business to get a clear idea of what they can expect from the website design.

    This is especially true if you’re presenting the mockup to non-UX designers, such as business stakeholders or a client. It might be possible that they don’t know about navigation flows — they might not even know what these flows are supposed to look like. Rather than just telling them, you want to demonstrate them.

    Adding Link Events

    If you want real freedom to design a mockup based on your creativity, then instead of using Photoshop, you can consider using prototyping tools. Since, these prototyping tools will offer you the freedom to dictate and generate event triggers from click, hover to perform page and style change.

    Hence, these mockups will enable the interactions, that run actions at a specific time. To conclude, your mockups will function as a finished product. Hence, you can test the majority of the functionalities at the early stage of development.

    The basic checklist

    • Focus on client and competitors before the determining the quality web design process
    • Develop a strong wireframe
    • Interactive animation mockups

    Tools used during this phase

    Visual PresentationTools
    UI/UXAdobe XD
    GraphicsAdobe Photoshop & Illustrator
    Style Title
    Element Collages
    Moodboards

    Typical time required to complete this section

    • 5 Days

    What are the points that need to be taken care of during this phase?

    • Use suitable tools to design effective mockups and visual elements
    • Check the design elements
    • Cross-browser testing
    • SEO friendly design and content
  9. Website Development Process

  10. You may be wondering, what are the steps to building a website? To answer your question, we have divided the web development process into 2 parts.

    Website Development Process

    Since it is the most technical part of the guide, we have explained each process as easily as possible to make you understand the entire process swiftly.

    Front End Development

    A part of the website with which you can see and interact is known as the front-end. Now, creating that visual part from scratch is front-end development. Designing the front-end is an essential part of the web design process. Front-end development is about designing and crafting experiences.

    front end development

    Even the designers who collaborate to create experiences and visuals are also front-end developers.

    We have listed basic technologies we use for front-end development.

    • HTML
    • CSS
    • JavaScript
    • Bootstrap frameworks

    Back-End Development

    Back-end development happens backstage, which powers the entire web. Whether it is a website or web application, the back-end powers the logic and functionality of the entire website.

    back end development

    Back-End Language / Content Management System Installation

    Backend development is focused on how the website works. In the backend development, you need to make the necessary updates and changes to the website. Additionally, it is crucial for the backend developer to monitor the website functionally from time to time. The most popular backend languages are PHP, Ruby, Python, and SQL. We always choose the language based on the requirements of the project.

    Database and Custom Field Creation

    To upload images and text in the CMS (content management systems), it is important to create each area of content in the database and custom field creation.

    CRM Plugin Setup and Content Creation

    Plugin examples such as Zoho, Podio, SharpSpring, and Salesforce. You can easily manage contacts on a day-to-day basis using the free version of CRM.

    Since it can help the overall website’s information architecture.

    Code Optimisation and Cross Browser Testing

    Optimization of code helps in search engine optimization. Search engine rankings determine overall website performance.

    For example, CSS and JavaScript minification improves the overall speed of your website. Additionally, we test websites in different browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari to make sure it works seamlessly in all browsers.

    Final Design Modifications

    We make sure to check the entire design is reviewed by our skilled UI/UX designers so that there is no room for errors.

    The basic checklist for front end & backend

    Front end checklist

    • Check the performance
    • Validate the markup
    • Verify the console for Javascript errors

    Back end checklist

    • Database testing
    • Data storage solution
    • Security
    • Server environment
    • Application monitoring

    Tools used during this phase

    • Bootstrap Framework
    • CMS and SEO Plugins

    Typical time required to complete this section

    • 5 – 14 Days

    What are the points that need to be taken care of during this phase?

    • Make sure it is aligned with SEO guidelines
    • Only use necessary plugins and compressed images to reduce the website speed
  11. Pre Launch / QA Testing

  12. Before launching your website, the QA team tests the entire flow of the website. We will check from page organization to site structure just to make sure everything is aligned.

    qa testing

    After finalizing the website, our team of expert graphic designers schedules a session with the client and explains each detail. Clients must know how to add content, images, and how the website functions.

    Here, we have a list of things you can do before launching your website.

    Website performance

    You can use Page Speed Insights to analyze the website’s performance.

    Check Security (HTTPS)

    After the finalization of the website, the next step will be to check the SSL of the website. By checking the SSL connection, you can ensure that only the recipient is going to access the intended information.

    Check Front End and Admin Login

    It is essential to check the front-end login and admin logins before launching the website. Sometimes, with the front-end login info, any user can easily log in to the admin panel and manage all the settings. To avoid that scenario, ensuring the separation of user login and admin login is crucial before the post-processing of the website.

    Image Compression and CSS/Javascript Minification

    You can improve your website’s performance by uploading compressed images on your website. Since compressed images on your website will make your web page faster and in turn increase your page speed on Google.

    CSS and Javascript minification involve eliminating characters within the file to decrease its size, which will help you to load your webpage faster.

    The basic checklist

    • Test website’s usability
    • Review browser compatibility
    • Check for mobile-friendliness
    • Check for small errors (Content review, image optimization, audio, and video file should work properly)

    Tools used during this phase

    • W3C Link Checker
    • Spider

    Typical time required to complete this section

    • 2-3 Days

    What are the points that need to be taken care of during this phase?

    • Standard code
    • Standard Google guidelines
    • Preferable web hosting
  13. Post Launch

  14. The process of design and development is timeless. There is always a scope to develop something new. Hence, we always help our clients to create and maintain their well-designed websites and review performance promptly.

    post launch of website

    We make sure to analyze the below points after launching the website:

    Website Development Plan for the Phase – 2

    After successfully launching the website in the first phase, in case, if you want to redesign the entire website or specific elements of the site, then it will be added into the phase 2 section.

    Server Monitoring

    If your website gets overloaded with traffic, our team helps you to monitor the website server. We check your traffic data, performance, operation, and security of the server. In case your website requires higher server configurations, our team can help you suggest better alternatives.

    We help our clients to develop and maintain their web design projects and put efforts to take their website to the next level.

Planning to Create a Website for Your Business?

Consult with our UI/UX designers and developers who have successfully delivered 3500+ applications to Enterprises and start-ups.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does web design help in business?

Web design is an essential element for your business. A great web design helps to set the first impression on your audience which will help you to generate leads for your business as well.

What is included in the web design checklist?

Web design checklist includes many elements like branding, content, layout, typography, check forms, responsive design, and images. We have mentioned the important ones that you can consider

  • Check the website responsiveness
  • Validate HTML/CSS
  • Optimize scripts, images, and CSS
  • Upload favicon
  • Check paragraph styles

What comes first web design or development?

In the web design process flow, the design work comes first, since, it is essential to create the entire structure and look of the website. This can be possible with the web design prototype. As soon as the client will approve the prototype design, the final design phase starts. After performing all the design-related changes, the development phase gets carried out.

What are the do’s and don’ts in web designing?

Let us discuss the do’s and don’ts to follow in web designing.

Do’s

  • Make sure to keep the web design interface consistent, it is essential part of web design process
  • The navigation should be easy to use, the website visitor should not get confused while accessing the website
  • This goes rather unnoticed but it is useful to set the different color of the visited url
  • Website’s pages should be quicky scannable
  • Priotarize the content part when designing a website
  • Make sure to double check your website against errors before publishing
  • Design engaging scrolling for users to keep them on the website for extended period of time
  • This is basic but the most important point, develop responsive website

Don’ts

  • Please make sure that internal links does not open in new tabs
  • Avoid using too many typefaces
  • Avoid using too many colors on your website
  • Don’t use blinking ads and text on your website
  • Priotarize the usability over beautiful interface

Ready To Design Your Website?

This guide has covered a step-by-step web design process flow to help your website get closer to success. Basics like creating wireframes and defining a goal will help you to avoid unnecessary changes and save your development time and money.

Moreover, it will be exciting to hear about your next web design project idea. Our web application development team will be glad to offer you a free consultation and help you to make your idea a real one.

We, at Space-O Technologies, have a team of web designers and developers who can help you to validate your web development project and provide the best possible solution.

Author Bio
Hardik Shah
Hardik Shah
Designation: Design Head

Hardik Shah is a Design Head at Space-O Technologies. He has over 16 years of experience in the designing field. He likes exploring different design trends and do design research for the various projects.