For some individuals, working in the web industry is maddening — for others, wonderful — because of its ever-changing nature. Even for the most advanced and prolific designers and developers, keeping up with the web’s advancements can be daunting.
What has stayed true through each trend and movement, despite the many transformations and evolutions it has gone through, is the web’s nature of being open and accessible. To this day, creating and sharing information is at the core of what the web is.
So in this day and age, what is the process of making a website? In terms of design and development, we have come a long way since the 90’s: websites aren’t built on tables and inline styles anymore; pages are no longer individually built, instead systems are; we don’t take static mockups and replicate them with code anymore. So… what is the ideal route to get from Point A to Point B?
It is true that nowadays almost anyone can create a website as it does not take much technical know-how when you use websites such as: Tumblr, WordPress, and the onslaught of easy-to-make site creators are extremely popular because of their ease of use and few requirements.
It’s important to understand more goes into the web design creation, design and development then just “plug and play” features. Plus you can tell when a website is custom and when its a cookie-cutter copy. Building websites for today’s technologies require skills and knowledge one cannot simply get from an online site creator but instead an expert website specialist.
That is why we have so many types of designers and disciplines in the web community: product designers, user experience designers, user interface designers, engineers, programmers, strategists… the list goes on! Each designer and developer has an area of specialty, and they come together to craft well-thought-out, engaging, fitting products.
Every designer and/or design firm will have a slightly different process with many different stages, phases, and components. Almost universally though exists a formula, and it looks a little something like this:
From beginning to end, every bit of work that goes into making a website will fall into either of the plan > make > evolve blocks. There might be any number of steps in each of them, but (in general) the philosophy is direct and process is linear: make a good product that has been researched and evaluated, and continually improve that product over time.
Remember, designers and developers want to make products — be it a website, web app, or other products — that achieve both their client’s and their client’s users’ goals. Let’s dive into each of the three blocks.
Planning is the largest block of the web design process, both in terms of time, effort, and importance. The proverb “measure twice, cut once” comes to mind. Planning involves a great deal of steps and encompasses a huge number of tasks. It involves many people in varying disciplines, such as project managers, content strategists (CS), user experience designers (UX), user interface designers (UI), information architects (IA), search engine optimizers (SEO), and data analysts among others. some of the steps involved from these people and their specialties include:
The actual “making” of a website involves taking everything that has been discovered and everything that has been formulated and creating the tangible product.
Specialists in this block include everyone from the previous block to some extent, but the bulk of this falls primarily into the laps of user experience designers (UX), user interface designers (UI), visual designers, front-end developers, back-end developers, programmers, and CMS architects.
A website development project is not completed on launch. After the website is live there must be promotion and analysis that actually bring users to the site, and seeing if what was made actually worked. The evolve block involves every step completed after the actual building, including:
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