Trusting the Web Design Process

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Building a successful website is a long journey, and while the web design process may not always be easy, it is most certainly worth it. From the initial brainstorming and scope definition phases to the final testing and reveal, to get the most out of the web building process you have to trust that it works.

Working with a web development agency can help make sure the website build goes smoothly. You pay for expertise and, maybe more than anything, someone to take the responsibility of creating a good website off your shoulders.

No matter who you are working with, or what type of website you are trying to build, here are the steps you can expect during the web design process.

Know what you want to build

The starting point of any project, web or otherwise, is the same. You have to define what you are looking for and what you want to get out of the project before you begin. Maybe you want to create a new eCommerce site to sell products. Maybe you want to refresh your brand and have a new website to match. Whatever the goals are, you need to define them.

These answers often come from upper management or stakeholders. Having clear organizational goals sets the groundwork for a project by providing direction and boundaries for what needs to be done and what can be left alone.

Of course, as the project goes along the goals may change. That’s fine! It is much easier to refocus a project on a new objective than completely change direction with no clear goal. In the initial definition stage, you need to find 2-3 main objectives to start with. Once you know what you want to build, you are ready to move on to the next step.

Determine the project scope

Once you know what the objective of the website is, the next step is to determine how and what is going to be delivered to reach those objectives. The most frustrating speed bump that occurs in any website project is scope creep, the changing or pushing of a project’s deliverables after the project begins. This can look like adding unexpected pages, plugins, designs, or anything that was not initially agreed upon.

The easiest way to avoid scope creep is by creating a clear, well-defined project scope that outlines the deliverables, expectations, and timetable of the project that all parties agree on. Scope, like project objectives, can change during a project. A new scope just needs to be defined for the project to continue running smoothly.

Sitemap and Wireframes

Developing the website structure and outline allows you to ensure that all needed pages, content layouts, and any other pieces of the website puzzle are included before you begin coding and development.

A sitemap outlines the page layout and expected consumer journey for your site. The wireframes offer a skeleton view of what the page will look like. Often black and white and without images, the wireframe is a great place to make any early revisions or tweaks to help ensure the future buildout goes smoothly.

Theme and Design

Now that you have an idea of what the pages and website will look like, it is time to create a visual design and theme for the website. Some web projects are theme sites that use a preexisting theme with specific content and images for a company. These websites are usually less expensive and have a shorter timetable because there is not as much time or resources needed to develop a brand-new theme.

Custom website projects give the designers time to come up with a specific and unique layout and graphic design for the website. While custom sites typically are more expensive and take longer to complete, the investment can be extremely valuable in helping your site stand out from the competition and reach all of your objectives effectively.

Content

Content is one of the biggest aspects of any new website build. After establishing your design and theme the website is handed off to the content team who flesh out the pages with copy. Writing for websites is unique, with strong headlines and calls to action (CTAs) driving visitors through your site. At Black Bear, we love creating custom, distinctive websites for our clients, and when we are hired to write the content we make sure to not only write top-notch copy that helps our clients stand out, but that is it optimized for SEO as well.

Development

The development stage of the web design process is usually the longest and quietest. This is the point where the website is handed off to the development team who code the site. Both development and content take time and are highly dependent on the size and scope of the website itself. The larger and more complex a site, the longer development usually takes. But trust us, the wait is certainly worth it.

Testing

After the majority of the website has been finished but before launching the site itself, the all-important testing phase must begin. This is where the website is thrown through the wringer to find any potential bugs or issues that need to be fixed before the final product is complete and launched. Nothing makes a client, company, or agency look worse than a brand-new website with some serious functional, graphic, or grammar issues. Testing helps ensure the website works on all devices and any browser.

Launch

Finally, we’ve hit the grand reveal. The site has been designed beautifully, all the content is complete and optimized for SEO, and the site has been tested completely. Now it’s time to flip the switch and enjoy a new live site!

Don’t think just because you have launched the site the project is finished, oftentimes far from it. Even after testing and countless meetings and approvals, there is almost always something that needs to be changed, fixed, or updated. That’s just part of the process!

Maintenance

Much like the people who made them, websites are ever-evolving and need to be kept up to work properly. Regular site maintenance is required to ensure all pages work, no links are broken, and the content is as up to date as possible. Your published website is a living, breathing object; treat it well and care for it and you will see the rewards big time!

Black Bear Design Can Create High-Quality Design for You

The website design process can be long and confusing, but the results are worth it. Black Bear Design is a leading design and full-service agency dedicated to creating well-designed and highly functional websites for our clients to help develop leads and make conversions. Our team works carefully across all areas of our agency from writers to developers to designers to make sure we create websites that exceed our clients’ expectations. Black Bear Design is ready to help take your marketing and advertising to the next level with our web design.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you stand out in the website forest.

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