As a web design professional; starting a brand new website project can be a digital magical mystery tour, and in most cases you will have no idea where you will end up and what you shall encounter on your journey. As you meet each obstacle head on you will be challenged to overcome problems that will, over time make you much more of an asset to your web design agency.
Wouldn’t your working life be dull if everything was easy? I am going to take the first tentative steps with you down the long and winding road of website design and build and point out a few basics that will help you on your way.
Firstly, we have to establish our client’s requirements for their website. This should be done before a single wireframe sketch or image is created. It is imperative to learn exactly what is required from the website and how visitors to the site will react with it. As a web design agency, your clients will want to know what is achievable and what is not. You are the experts after all; if your client’s proposals are unrealistic then they should be told at this stage. Once you have agreement on the main features and functions then you can proceed to the next step of the project with a clear idea of what is involved.
This is an important stage of the process; by monitoring how competitors are tackling their customers’ demands you can gauge the ever shifting trends and latest technology. This can also act as a source of inspiration. By critically appraising your rivals latest offerings you can work out what works and what does not and how certain functions can be improved upon or tweaked to fit a design solution that you are considering to use.
This should be one of the favourite aspects of any web design agency employee; this is what drives you; the chance to get your creative juices flowing. You will now sit down with an A3 piece of paper and produce a mind map. Mind mapping is a process of creating a diagram that visually outlines information. The mind map would typically be created around a single word or phrase that is placed in the middle of the page; associated ideas, tasks or words are added; spiralling out from the initial word or phrase. Major categories radiate from the central theme and secondary categories are sub-branches of the larger ones. Categories can be words, tasks, ideas, or any related items to the primary word, idea or phrase.
Once the mind maps have been drawn manually by hand, they can then be turned into high quality pictures or into a computer presentation when time allows. This can help you organise your project and it also helps with design and functionality decisions.
Many web design agency workers find inspiration from real-life situations. I was speaking to a web designer recently about a project she was working on, it contained a page with a form on it that needed to be completed before the user could continue with the rest of their visit. She wanted to make the process of filling out and using the form much more straight forward. Following a long journey home one evening she pulled into her drive, turned off her car and pulled the key out of the ignition. And that was when her inspiration moment. She noticed that the interior light came on automatically so she could gather her belongings in the darkness. Meaning she would not have to manually turn on the light herself. With a flash of inspiration she thought how this could be applied to her form problem and immediately scribbled down a solution. She went back to her website and designed the form so that it appeared in a modular window on page load, which freed the visitor to continue around the site streamlining the user experience for them.