May 5, 2017
Let’s talk about why starting building the website before you’ve even designed it is the total wrong way around of doing things.
Okay, so what do I mean? Well, we often have people approaching us saying, “We really don’t like our website”. To explore further we ask them what are the pain points, and what has the process been to get where they are at. All too often they’ll explain that the web designer essentially took a brief from them, disappeared for a month, then returned showing them a ready built WordPress website.
Then come the issues:
Disclaimer: This is not everyones experience of course, and some developer/designers really excel at a code first approach. If you find them, pay them lots of money and love on them as much as you can! ?
Why is it a bad idea to start building the website before there’s even a design?
Obviously there are some great page builders out there like Beaver Builder, which you can still do a few tweaks on which makes things a little quicker than code. Surely that negates the need to do anything in a design application?
Nope! Regardless of the page builder used, everyone in your team will be reviewing the site on different browsers, screen resolutions and accessibility settings. If you’re sending out a design, a picture of what it’s going to look like from a designer, you’re all seeing the same layout and you’re all signing off the exactly same thing.
This then gives the developer the blueprint to create the final signed off design either in code, or with a page builder, and then do all the relevant cross browser testing.
The basic design to build process should be:
Discovery: you talk about what you want to achieve, create the specifications, explore brand assets, establish goals, explore who the end users are, plan the structure, the site map, establish what technology will be utilised to achieve the specifications, et cetera.
Wireframing: done with the design team, you are laying out in simple block and illustration form how the site will be laid out, with user experience and journeys considered. Some folks use PowerPoint to replicate clicks to go to other areas of the wireframe, or tools such as Mockingbird.
Design: Then you want to take that into the design process with your designer/design agency.
Once you’ve done all this, you’re all signing off exactly the same look and feel. You all know what you’re expecting, you all know how it’s going to work and how it is going to look, and what technology you use.
The benefits of having a discovery and design-first approach are:
Don’t start with an assumed technology first.
Don’t start without a designer at the beginning.
Do go through the process of discovery, wireframe, design and then build.
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