Clutter To Clarity: A Guide On Important Stages Of Web Design

Published on August 17th, 2021

Siddhita Upare
Co-founder, ruttl

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The Internet is cluttered with a zillion websites already! Thankfully, many of these websites have great content and provide value. Yet, oftentimes, their design is subpar and outright poor. Many websites which are great on the design front, lack maintenance. Even feedback on websites is not taken by many stakeholders on time. All of these technical setbacks add up and impact businesses, revenues and even personal brands in the long run. That's why in today's age, web design and development should not be ignored. The good news is that you can avoid such issues by following the important stages of web development.

Web development is just not about writing unfathomable codes, web design is also a significant part of it. Web designers, developers are increasingly becoming aware of the same and are readily collaborating to create brilliant websites. They understand how critical their work is for the growth of their client's business and they are walking extra miles.

Having created many websites at Brucira with a team of passionate web designers, developers, we have identified these key stages for web development. We are sure this structured breakdown of the web development process would help fellow web designers and developers across the globe. Let's take a quick look at them then?

Know the End Goal

As a web designer, the first thing that you need to do is communicate with clients. Ask as many relevant questions as you wish to ask at the initial stage of web development. Questions like the following would help you in streamlining the web development process:

  • Who do you wish to connect with through this website?
  • Will this website inform, sell, amuse?
  • What will users find through this website?
  • Will this website be the first touchpoint for your brand or is it just an extension?
  • How will this website be different from other competitors

If these questions do not receive clear answers then your entire web project can go haywire. Know your client's end goals from the website early on along with the target users. It will ensure that your design and development is heading towards clarity.

Key Takeaways from this Stage:

  • Target Demographic
  • Brand Vision
  • Competitors
  • Visual Brief

Define the Scope of Work

Early on while working on Ruttl we realized that goals for web projects can change. Clients may have some change of heart or their goals can evolve. Documenting and finalizing the scope of work is therefore necessary. Otherwise, you might just end up developing and designing emails, apps and many other things which were not initially defined. Put all the communication on email with clients, create a contract so that you stay on the same page with them and avoid confusion.

While web designers are prepared to take on additional work many times, yet the process needs to be simplified along with the increase in budget. Start using these website tools to make this stage more seamless.

Key Takeaways from this Stage:

  • Understand the Deliverables
  • Make Contract to Define Work

Create Sitemap and Wireframe

Every web designer and developer would second that a sitemap is like a foundation for any web project. For any good website, you need to have a detailed sitemap in place. A sitemap helps web designers in getting a clear idea about the website information architecture. It also gives more clarity about the interconnection between web pages and other content elements.

After creating a sitemap, you need to start putting the wireframe in place. A wireframe typically looks like an exoskeleton. As a framework, it stores all the visual and content elements of your website. Through sitemaps, web designers can foresee all the challenges, gaps that might crop up during the creation of a website.

Wireframe also doubles up as a reference point to see how your website would eventually look like. Sitemap and wireframe are therefore crucial for effective web design and development.

Key Takeaways from this Stage:

  • Put a sitemap in place
  • Chart ou the Wireframe

Develop the Initial Content

Created sitemap and wireframe? Now off you start your content creation process! It is one of the most critical stages of web development. Content not only creates more action, engagement for your website but also helps for search engine optimization. The content and its placement/packaging decide the way in which users would interact with your website and take action.

Boring content will dull down your users and they would not connect with it. Intriguing, crisp content becomes more click-worthy and pushes users to take positive action on your website. By planning during this stage, you can space out your content in chunks. It would become more engaging that way. Users would not get overwhelmed by reading it.

Content also helps in tapping SEO. Start lining up keywords using tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush and more to use them as the web development process goes ahead. Informative, inspiring and keyword-rich content helps in driving more traffic to your website, so give this stage your thought and time.

Key Takeaways from this Stage:

  • Start crisp, engaging content
  • Align your SEO strategy for the website

Finalize the Visual Element

As important as content, this web development stage gets everyone's creative juices flowing. During this stage, you would ideally create the visual style for your website. From colours palettes, fonts, logos, branding elements - most of these are decided in consensus with the client. To effectively do so, we ask our clients to leave feedback on website prototypes using Ruttl. Web designers run the entire show during this stage.

By placing the right visual elements at the right place you can increase user retention, traffic and even grow revenue. From photographs, GIFs, videos, illustrations, you can choose as many pre-decided visual elements as you wish for your website. Just keep in mind that they should cohesively look creative and not out of the place. For our clients at Brucira, we usually try out all of them by uploading them through Ruttl. We share the same with our clients so that they can leave feedback on website and more so for its visual lineup.

Key Takeaways from this Stage:

  • Select good visual elements
  • Decide their form and function
  • Experiment with their placement

Find Errors by Testing

With everything else in place, now's the time to gear up for testing your website. It might take some time but proactively check each and every page, hyperlinks on your web project. Check your website across browsers - is it loading on time, is it running fine? By doing so, you would be able to identify coding errors, design bugs and quickly fix them.

Along with this, check the meta titles, descriptions and ensure the SEO hygiene of the website is great. Because something as simple as that can impact its performance. It would save you a lot of public bashing and lost traffic when the website goes live.

Key Takeaways from this Stage:

  • Check your website on multiple browsers
  • Proofread and edit all the content as per SEO guidelines

Launch the Final Version

All that waiting with bated breath, doing all the web development process right and now you are all set to launch the website. Still do not get all excited. Everything is in place but do not expect things to go smoothly. A few elements, content might need some fixing.

The web development process is always dynamic and it requires some or the other visual or technical updates. Fret not, by paying close attention to its form and function during the earlier stages you would end up creating a great website.

Proactive web designers and developers such as you would quickly grasp and ace this web development process. Till then, just keep at it!

Wondering if there might be a better way to do all this, without spending hours on back and forth emails with your team? Then look no further!

Ruttl is a visual website feedback tool that helps you comment on websites, collect feedback, collaborate with team members and clients to review design projects post development.

So, what are you waiting for? Experience the fastest way to review websites at ruttl.com!

3000+ teams and freelancers use ruttl daily as their website feedback toolpeople img

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