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The Web Design Process In Layman's Terms

The web design process is a six-phase process. This is the roadmap designers use to build websites. This document is a description of each of the six phases in terms that are simple and easy to understand. These phases include:

One: Gathering Information
Two: Planning
Three: Design
Four: Development
Five: Testing and Deployment
Six: Maintenance

Phase One is the gathering information phase. The designer takes the time to get to know the client's needs, customers, and competition. The designer presents the client with a questionnaire which addresses questions like:

What is the purpose of the website?
What goal does the website need to meet?
What type of website needed?
What are the clients needs?
What are the clients expectations?

The designer provides the client a Project Scope Document that addresses issues like these:

What is the project timeline?
What are the budget constraints?
Expected Activities.
Expected deliverables needed by the client and provided by the designer.
The number of pages required.
The type of pages required.
A timeline for the deliverables.

The information gathering phase comes to a close with a satisfied designer and client.

Phase Two is the planning stage. This phase is where the client submits the gathered information. This phase also addresses:

What creative liberties is the web designer given by the client?
Compile the gathered information from meetings, e-mail, phone calls and questionnaire.
Develop the wire frame sketches and website flowcharts.

Collaborating with the client keeps them involved in the process. Collaboration on the newsletter and blog designs are also discussed. All deliverables are also submitted. The closing of this phase leads into Phase Three: Design.

Phase Three is the beginning of the design phase and begins to bring together the rest of the project. This phase includes two major tasks:

Develop mockups from the wireframe sketches.
Develop the prototype from the mockups.

The designer provides three mockups with their recommendation. When the client makes their decision on the mockup, it is then developed into the prototype. Prototypes give the client something tangible to view and to get a feel for. The prototype development then takes the project into Phase Four: Development.

Phase Three and Phase Four are the two phases where all the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together. This phase addresses:

Content development and placement.

The designer and the client work together to reproof and make last minute changes. Finishing touches to the newsletter and the blog for final deployment. This will take the project into the next phase, Phase Five: Testing and Deployment.

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