Web Design: Our Process
Maybe you’re thinking about building a website with us. Or maybe, you’re just curious about our process. Here at Highgate, we work hard to ensure that our design process produces the most effective new sites.
We’ve made a list of eleven steps describing this process from start to finish. If you decide to build a website with us, this is what you can anticipate.
1. Getting Started
First, we’ll sit down with you to map out a strategy for your site. We want to know your goals and objectives. What are you trying to accomplish with your new site?
2. Genre Education
We look at competitor websites to get a sense of my your field’s “genre.” What information is important to this field? What questions might visitors have when they arrive at your new site. How do similar sites answer these questions? What do these sites do well and how can we design a better site for you? We also consider how we can be faithful to your brand. We want your brand to stand out from your competitors.
3. Design Inspiration
We look at recent trends in web design. We think about how to create a site that is both trendy and classic.
Next, we sketch potential layouts, or wireframes: boxes representing content. We usually start with a grid and begin adding element blocks. We might draw a similar design several times, shifting the positioning of the elements. When we’re happy with the arrangements, we may send our sketches to you for feedback.
5. Mood Board
Once we have some ideas for potential site directions, we’ll create a mood board for you. This includes potential color palates, typefaces, and images that inspire the general feel of your new site. We may present what we’ve learned from competitor websites and describe what we think is working well and what we can do better. We like to do this after we’ve made some sketches so that we can envision how the colors and typefaces could interact with the layouts that we’ve sketched.
6. Developing Ideas in Photoshop
We begin realizing sketches in Photoshop. We usually develop a minimum of three different directions for the site’s homepage.
Next, we’ll call and chat with you about the different directions we’ve created. Sometimes we mix and match designs a little. We work together to finalize the direction and agree on a fantastic homepage. Dialogue happens during almost every step, but this is the pivotal discussion in the design process.
8. Other Design Components
Now that we have a guiding direction, we create mobile and tablet layouts, as well as layouts for different types of subpages. This usually happens pretty quickly since the site’s aesthetic is already in place.
We make a list of the specs and assets and present them to whomever is going to be building out the actual website, and then we work with them to see that the site represents the design and direction we agreed on.
During this stage, we add photos and text. We also adjust styling and any other issues that may come up. Some sites are content heavy and take a long time to populate (like this one). For other sites, population is simple and quick (like this one). This process will go fastest if you provide the text and photos we need in a timely manner.
11. Going Live
When you are satisfied with the new site, we press a few magic buttons and your site goes live. Now Highgate will maintain an ongoing relationship with you to ensure that your site stays updated and to answer any questions you have when you decide to make changes.
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