8 Steps of the Web Design Process and Planning

Web design process

The process of web design is often considered simple, related to visual and textual details only. Yet, to create an efficient and user-friendly website, you need to know all the phases of the web design process. In this article, we explain how to make every element of the website follow your business goals.

8 Steps in the Web Design Process Explained

The first thing we want to clarify is that website design should be a part of your company’s global strategy. Websites should be more than tasteful and appealing. They need to introduce your services, products, and brand via text and visuals. Follow these steps to create an outstanding website design

8 steps for the web design process

Step 1. Goal Determination

In this very first stage, you need to define the ultimate objective of your website design. Here are the questions to ask during this phase:

  • Who is the website targeting?
  • What do users expect to find on the website?
  • Is my website information, selling, or amusing?
  • Is my website delivering a central brand idea and mission or part of a more global strategy with its own goals? 
  • Which competitor websites can be used for inspiration?

This is a critical part of the web design planning process. By answering these questions comprehensively, you set the right direction for your project. In this stage, you also develop user personas, write creative briefs, and conduct competitor analysis. 

Step 2. Defining Scope

After the discovery phase, scope determination is essential to plan the project timeline, number of employees, and budget. The clients can modify, expand, and extend the project, influencing the design process. It creates problems for designers as their scope of work increases. Yet, bigger expectations don’t always match more costs, and the project becomes unreasonable.

When you create a clearly outlined project scope that embraces certain processes, you simplify project management, content creation, and design. Outline the key activities and the tasks related to each phase. 

Step 3. Sitemap and wireframes

The next step in the web design process is building the sitemap and wireframes of pages. The architecture involves all the essential pages, displays the connections between them, and gives more insight into the website structure and hierarchy. This simplifies the work of your web development team, content specialists, and designers.

After that, you need to create mockups of the wireframe. Wireframes contain all the visual and textual elements and help find possible gaps in sitemaps and user flows. A wireframe is a rather rough version without all the final elements. They are insightful to define how content is spread across all the pages.

Step 4. Content

Now that the mockups are ready, it’s time to consider the critical part – the written text. You should think about the text itself and how it is introduced (fonts and structure). Consider the two crucial aims of content and its role in the web design process. 

  • Engaging Users. Content should grab the users’ attention and keep them interested. Make sure your content is well-structured and supported by visuals. Highlight the most important information and give it a light and clean feel. 
  • Search Engine Optimization. Ranking high on search engines boosts the site and attracts more interested users. Adding keywords and keyword phrases makes websites more successful. Find potential keywords with high search volume to increase website traffic. You can use Google Trends, Serpstat, or Keyword Planner to track keyword popularity. Based on the outcomes of keyword analysis, develop a content strategy and analyze relevant search queries to keep up with trends and the needs of your users.

So, your content should be helpful, educational, and keyword-rich.

Step 5. Adding Visual Elements

And finally, it’s time to give your website a visual style. Branding is crucial. So you should add elements of your brand, choose the colour palette, and develop a unique logo in this stage. This is a time when web designers can prove themselves. They should transfer the brand goals via visual language. UI/UX design plays an important role in any digital product.

Step 6. Website Development

With an approved design, it’s time to expand it to the pages of your website. Create new content, update the existing one, make videos, custom animations, and images. Develop the HTML and CSS of the website. 

Step 7. Testing

Before the website is presented to users, you should pay attention to different tests. Ensure that your website works predictably and properly. A team of web designers like Linchpin or Bay Area web design company and QA engineers should test every page, find bugs and errors, and report feedback. Additionally, perform user testing to find gaps and issues in user behavior and fix them. Use the data you received from QA and testing to make improvements and streamline the user experience.

Test the website in many browsers (Google Chrome, Opera, Safari) and OS. Adaptability to mobile devices is essential, so test your website on desktop, tablet, and mobile phones.

Step 8. Launch and Maintenance

Don’t expect that your website will perform hassle-free. There will always be areas for improvement and fixes.  Don’t think that your work is over after the website is launched. You should make constant changes and edits to the website to adapt to users’ fast-evolving trends and needs.

Enhanced performance ensures success and increases brand loyalty. While maintaining your website, keep in mind the primary ideas and objectives. Don’t be afraid to test different content and features and track how it influences users with analytical tools. 

Does your web development design process look like this?

The 8 web design process steps we described in our article will help create an efficient and stable software solution that draws user attention and converts. An approach with thorough research and constant testing allows for developing complex products that meet the business and user requirements.