Web design workflow: What to expect when starting a website project

Web design workflow with TBH Creative
When starting a new website project, our clients generally have never been through the web design process before and aren’t sure what to expect. Therefore, it’s important to make the web design process as straightforward as possible in order to alleviate any concerns or apprehension. A major part of that is to follow a defined web design workflow that helps to strategically guide clients through each major phase of the process. An effective workflow can also help to keep a project on task and increase overall productivity.

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 meeting

A 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.

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Step 2: Discovery and research process

The 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
Conducting discovery and research at the beginning of a website project leads to a deeper understanding of a client's needs and goals, and results in a more successful project overall.

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Step 3: Site architecture and content creation

In 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.

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Step 4: Wireframing

Content 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.

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    Step 5: Design

    The 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.

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    Step 6: Prototyping

    Once 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.

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    Step 7: Development

    The 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.

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    Step 8: Quality assessment and content review

    Once 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.

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    Step 9: Launch and evaluation

    Once 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.

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    Step 10: Improvements and future marketing

    Use 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.

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    TBH Creative understands the web design process from start to finish.
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    Tatum

    About the author | Tatum Hindman

    Tatum is the president of TBH Creative and is responsible for building long-term client relationships. She enjoys the strategy behind web design and sitting down with clients to define online marketing goals. She likes to blog about questions or topics that clients ask about as well as sharing new tricks.

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