Jim Ferguson is a graphic & web designer in Greenville, SC
Each web design is unique depending on the needs of each client and their customer base, but here’s a quick glimpse at the general process I go through when designing a website:
The Discovery phase is where I have the opportunity to learn about your company’s existing brand, culture and customers. Finding out what your company is all about helps me to begin to establish a creative direction for your website. Also in this phase, we talk through about the content (text, images, video, etc) that you have or will need for the website, what functionality you would like to offer your visitors, what they are looking for when they come to you and what elements would be most beneficial to them. Tools that we might use during the Discovery phase include mind maps of your website’s navigation, sketched wireframe mockups and mood boards. Finding out this type of information up-front is very important so there are no surprises later on in the project. All of this information helps me to understand how your website should be laid out and also the look and feel surrounding the various elements.
Taking what we learned in the Discovery phase, I create layered design concepts in Photoshop using fonts, color schemes, textures and imagery that will accurately represent your brand. I will present these concepts to you, talk through the decisions that were made and make any necessary adjustments.
Once the concepts are approved, I begin working on converting the designs into functional websites. Speed, standards and search engine optimization are all considerations that I take into account while developing the code for your website.
Once the core of your website has been coded, I begin to run tests to see how the website is displaying. Believe it or not, all web browsers handle code a little differently, so your website may display differently between Internet Explorer and Firefox. Additionally, there can be variations between different versions of browsers, so I take a look at how everything displays across modern browsers*. This ensures that the website is being displayed consistently for all of your visitors.
*In 99% of cases, I do not support Internet Explorer 6. If you’re still running this browser, please consider upgrading to the latest version of IE, Firefox, Chrome or Safari.
Once I have verified that the site is rendering properly, it is time to populate the website with content. If we have decided to build your website on a content management system, I will also schedule a time to sit down and train you on how to use the back-end and add/update your site’s information.
After the site has been populated, we’ll both run through the site several more times to make sure everything is running the way it should be. Once you give me final approval, I will move the site live and begin to allow search engines to crawl the site. And that’s that – you’ll be up and running!