Preparatory stages of web design

Hundreds of jokes and memes are built on the theme of “tyzhdiziner” and “play with fonts”, and the designer himself seems to many people to be an exalted shaman with a tambourine and a beater, who seeks help from the spirits when he needs to pick up a new color in the layout.

Perhaps, some people do, but the real web design is built on strict, clear and quite specific rules, as mathematical formulas. And on creation of a qualitative breadboard model the whole command works.

Today, we will tell you why a good design can not be bought cheap, and will figure out what stages precede the drawing of the web page. On each stage terms and results of works are resulted.

The time is specified taking into account multitasking: when the order of 10 projects is conducted in parallel and time is distributed between them. This is how most specialists work, and it is the closest to reality.

Feedback is the key to a good result

One often hears that projects get stuck in the design stage. For example, after a month or two of waiting, the customer receives sketches and grabs his head: “I imagined things very differently!

It is possible to dilute the hands and include the philosopher: yes, we are not allowed to penetrate into each other’s thoughts yet… Or we can fill in the brief with the customer from the very beginning. This is the first and obligatory stage, about which everyone knows, but still not everyone does.

It is important not only to have the brief, but also its quality. A good brief will necessarily contain information about competitors, product description, algorithm of interaction between the customer and his client, competitive advantages, terms and guarantees of work, etc.

Without this brief it is possible to play in a deaf phone, “play with fonts” and change the colors of the buttons. If the customer can not describe their own product, it is worth thinking hard – and will a new site help his business?

After the strengths and weaknesses of the product have been collected and analyzed, the manager passes this information to the analyst. That, in turn, goes to the next stage – the analysis of the niche.

The timing here depends mainly on the customer. Usually it takes from 1 day to a week to collect information and fill in the brief.

Competitor Studies

So far, as we can see, no one is in a hurry to grab the paper, pencil or graphic tablet stylus. At the stage of analytics we have to do a lot of routine, but very necessary work. The analyst will look through dozens of competitive sites, take screenshots and make up a belief scheme in your head.

Because the main task of web design – is to increase the conversion capacity of the site. In other words, more leads – more potential profit for the customer.

For a good web design is not enough to have artistic skills, you need to know the basics of psychology and marketing, to understand how people behave on the Internet and that they need to offer that they have left an application or ordered a callback.

Studying competitors is a routine, but necessary, activity that usually takes 1-3 working days.

The final result of this stage is a report on the competitors, which includes all their strengths.

To sell, you have to understand who you’re selling to.

It’s still a long way from drawing. Specialist who works on the task of design or redesign of the site, should study the audience of the customer as deeply as possible. And it does not consist of one target group. Complex products (for example, as tanks for storage of oil products) can be 5-7 different target groups.

At this stage, feedback is extremely important. Constant constructive dialogue is necessary at each stage, but during the analysis of the audience – especially. Who can know their customers better than the seller?

The specialist analyzes the audience through the metrics of the site, studies forums and social networks. What do people talk about? What questions are asked?

What are the selection criteria for different groups of buyers? What are the obvious and hidden fears and objections of the audience? Only for one such analysis, some customers lay out a lot of money, ordering it from a third-party marketing agency.

The word is a great power, or the meaning of the text

Having two reports (by audience and competitors) and data on the current situation on the customer’s website, the analyst can already make up an idea of what elements should be used on the future web page in order for it to successfully convert the leads.

But before making the first sketches, it is necessary to prescribe a complete semantic structure. All headings, subheadings, texts and arguments should be a coherent and consistent system of arguments.

This is the work of a copywriter. If you place the “buy” button on the page and do not explain why you need to buy your product, nobody will click on this button. The persuasion system is not an imposition of the product, but a clear information system. He who has ears and ears will hear, and he who has money will place an order in your online store.

Drawing cubes, or an important prototype role

You can finally grab a stylus or a mouse and start drawing… cubes. And also circles, arrows and other primitive forms which can visually explain structure and configuration of the future web page. This is called a prototype, and it should not be any creativity – only the dry facts that the prototyper received from other team members.

Why is the prototype so important? Because it is he who is the logical basis for the future web page, and without his agreement to proceed to web design can not in any case (return mentally to the image of the customer, who grasps the head and says that he wanted quite another).

When the prototype is coordinated, we take a tambourine and a beater in our hands… A joke. We take and review once again all the materials prepared in advance, especially the report on the competitors.

A design layout, or the tip of an iceberg

The entire amount of work that precedes web design can take at least a month. And you can design only after this amount of work is done.

Principles, skills and abilities that are needed for good web design – this is the topic for a separate article. Let’s say now only that a small percentage of real creativity is present here in the final stage.

The designer selects colors, draws forms and icons, searches and processes photos. However, it is important to remember that his task is not to make the site beautiful, but to make it as effective as possible. If all the rules are followed, the design is easily coordinated with the customer.

The customer, in turn, does not have a question what exactly he pays the money for and what tasks takes so much time to solve. Design with such a careful study fundamentally differs in terms of efficiency from the design, which you draw a guy hired on a freelance for several thousand rubles.

So, from the underwater part of the iceberg, we got to the top of it – a ready-made layout of the web page, which must still be qualitatively completed. This, however, is a completely different story, which we will tell you the next time.