|Although some projects may require an adjusted approach and there is overlap as well as steps within these main steps, our typical website project workflow will follow these steps with continual improvements and marketing after the launch (which we call Site Success Manager).|
In this article, we’ll share the main steps in the TBH Creative web design workflow, as well as the basic strategy behind each phase, to help you get a better idea of the work that goes into a website project.
Step 1: Kick-off meetingA kick-off meeting is an important first step when starting a new website project. It's a chance to get everyone involved in the project on the same page, which helps to manage the scope and expectations of the project. Kick-off meetings also allow you to develop a roadmap for the project, and determine general deadlines and goals.
- Why kick-off meetings are crucial to the web design process
- An important step towards website project success: involve the right people
- 5 questions to ask before you redesign your website
Step 2: Discovery and research processThe discovery and research process is customized to each project. This stage typically involves some (or all) of the following steps:
- Learning about the company and its products or services
- Setting marketing goals
- Assessing the needs of the user
- Developing audience personas based on the target audience
- Researching the industry and evaluating the competition
- Defining technical specifications and limitations
- How to organize your website project for success
- 5 goals of a design research strategy
- Know your audience: The value of the audience persona
Step 3: Site architecture and content creationIn this phase, the navigational structure of the website starts coming together, and decisions are made about what content to include and where. Content creation typically occurs simultaneously with the wireframing and design phases, but should be started early on in the web design process in order to make more effective structural and design decisions. Depending on a project’s content needs, this could include developing copy for all pages, or editing existing content. If working with existing content, it’s important to conduct a content audit and remove any outdated or ineffective content.
Step 4: WireframingContent creation leads into the wireframing process, where the content is given structure through low-fidelity representations of web pages. Creating wireframes helps to determine hierarchy and other content needs before moving into the design phase.
- What is wireframing, and 6 reasons wireframing is important
- 3 Reasons Wireframing is useful in Web Design
- Spend time on content at the beginning for a stronger website at the end
Step 5: DesignThe design phase involves the creation of high-fidelity design elements. Depending on the project, it may be as simple as developing style tiles, or as complex as multiple, full-page designs. Regardless of the approach, this is the time to work out a variety of design choices like fonts, colors, and imagery before they are committed to code.
- 3 methods for creating mockups
- 8 marketing-focused questions to ask when reviewing a web design
- Images and your website: Tips for choosing effective imagery
Step 6: PrototypingOnce design elements have been defined, it’s helpful to create a prototype that addresses functionality and user experience. This helps to identify and resolve issues before they are finalized in the development phase.
- Web design trends: 6 examples of online brand style guides
- Website prototyping: methods and resources to get you started
Step 7: DevelopmentThe development phase is when a web design really comes to life and becomes a functioning product. Development can be the most lengthy of all the steps depending on the complexity of a website. This may seem like a more “quiet” time for clients since there is often little feedback needed until the website has been coded and is ready for review.
- 4 tips for developing a website that's easy to update
- Quick tip: Improve the speed of your website
- Speed up the web development process by creating your own framework
Step 8: Quality assessment and content reviewOnce the website has been built, it’s crucial to fully review content and test functionality in order to make sure everything is working properly and that you’ve adequately addressed user needs. Any custom functionality should be thoroughly checked and double-checked to identify any broken components or missing features.
Step 9: Launch and evaluationOnce the website is reviewed and approved, it can be launched! However, the work doesn’t end there. To ensure that your marketing goals defined at the beginning of the project are successfully met, you should evaluate your website’s progress using analytics or other forms of tracking. Once you have a solid set of data, you can determine what’s working and what’s not, and identify areas of improvement.
Step 10: Improvements and future marketingUse your new found knowledge from evaluating your website to make strategic improvements to your website as your business evolves. This often includes updating or revising your online strategy on a regular basis in order to ensure it continues to work towards your overall business goals. This is also the time to consider other types of online marketing in addition to your website, such as social media or content marketing, which can help you reach a wider audience and increase the success of your website.
- Types of online marketing
- Inbound Marketing: What is it and how can it help?
- 6 tips for integrating social media into your website