The development of any site (if we are not talking about a template) begins with the preparation of the design. The project manager asks the customer for information, then sends him a questionnaire and asks him to describe what should be on the main page. For many clients, this is a big problem, no matter how clear they have a vision of the future of the website. Simple and often banal things are difficult to put on paper, the operation of the site’s functions can be presented in different ways, and the necessary content is not yet available. Before the work can begin, the project is already delayed, and the deadlines are being shifted.
With such a development of the situation, often customers do not pay attention to trifles, and make up the task superficially. Having received the first concept of the main page, they have many questions, many of which could have been solved even at the stage of setting the task. As a result, the designer makes a number of additional layouts, and only after going through several options, the customer stops at one of them. This approach can be called acceptable, but it takes a lot of additional time and is extremely unprofitable for both parties. To avoid such a plot, we have prepared the basic rules that help the customer and the contractor in setting the task for the designer.
For productive and fast work on the pages of the site, it is necessary to initially correctly build actions. The main mistake is that each of the parties is waiting for a decision from the other, without doing anything for it. By dividing tasks and setting a deadline, you can not only collect the necessary information, but also find interesting solutions in the process of discussion.
Quite often, the account manager takes on the analysis of the site structure and compiling the menu branch, and the customer monitors the sites of competitors and fixes the design elements they like (as well as various features)
An important step is filling out the brief, since all background information is taken from it. The designer himself can find the current address of the company, phone number and e-mail, but often this information is not relevant for the new resource of the company and the old data has to be changed. In addition, the brief contains all the necessary information in one place and allows you to quickly find it.
The more detailed the brief is filled out, the less minor edits the layout will have in consequence. Remember this!
Having received the information and having a ready structure, it is necessary to describe the possible functions on the “screens” of the layout. For this, a regular A4 sheet and a pen are perfect. Having divided the sheet into several parts, we enter the desired functionality into the resulting blocks and be sure to sign it, since the designer cannot always understand what the customer has depicted.
An advanced solution for displaying site blocks is to create a prototype. To do this, profile programs are used in which the designer prepares the grid of the future page and signs the blocks. As a rule, development of a prototype is a separate service, which can be replaced by a sketch of a flowchart by hand.
By the final stage, the Customer must have the content ready for the page to be drawn by the designer. This applies not only to photographs, but also to text, as well as various icons and graphics (if any). If the customer does not have pictograms and graphs, the designer himself selects them according to the text description. It is also necessary to discuss what should not be used in the layout. This point is in the brief, but re-discussing critical points will save you from unnecessary work.
Designing the main page is at least half of the work, but there are other pages as well. After agreeing and approving the general concept, it is also necessary to consistently draw all other sections that require a unique layout. The most frequent customer comment in such cases is “I don’t know what should be there”. With such a task, you can’t draw a layout, so again we resort to monitoring competitors’ sites, only this time we look not at the design, but at the structure of the page with information blocks. After reviewing 3-5 sites, “colleagues in the shop” have an understanding of what should be on the page and the designer only needs to beautifully implement the necessary elements in the layout.
Forms, dies and beats
Having finished with the concept of all sections, it is time to prepare the design sources for layout. At this stage, the designer shows how the feedback forms, drop-down boxes, subsections of the main menu, spacing and informational messages will look like.
For corporate resources, these elements are similar for many websites and do not require separate approval. When developing an online store , the conversion depends on the design and convenience of the forms, and it is recommended to coordinate these technical elements as well.
Sometimes even a simple cross, beautifully chosen by the designer in the corner of the form, can increase the percentage of ordering on the site.
Two steps back, one step forward
Before finishing the design, you must ensure that all the necessary pages are rendered and that all technical blocks are reflected in the design. Suppose any changes need to be made after the layout. In that case, correcting the scenario and replaying the page is necessary. As a rule, many agencies and studios make additional changes to the design after approval, only on a paid basis.