Sadly these days a web designer’s role does not merely end with the design and build of a website. Nor does it start with an initial design of one.
A job will often start with the initial branding, identifying who our audience are, what image we want to project, what our tone of voice will be and considering any previous design traits that need to be incorporated. Whether it’s merely freshening up the website or a complete redesign of the brand, reminding yourself of the key requirements is always a necessity for any web designer.
We then move on to the research aspect of the project. See what our competitors are doing, what other websites are doing and doing well and related industry trends that the user has come to expect. This allows for the careful planning of what the project needs to achieve, how we intend to do it and so can allocate the necessary time and resource required.
At this point we designers would normally be itching to get our hands stuck into the creative aspect of the role yet we move in to the new and exciting world of user experience.
The user journeys need to be mapped out and all scenario’s catered for, regardless of how remote the chance of someone taking that path. This often involves regular feedback sessions to make sure that those heavily involved are able to take a step back from the journeys in case assumptions of how the user would act or interpret things are wrong.
As with the journeys all angles of the interface need to be covered and feedback is the best way for it. The interface can be as important as the functionality itself so given that the position of a button can greatly affect conversion it is imperative that this stage is thoroughly covered.
With journeys, interfaces and layouts starting to come together finally the design and build can begin, though the project itself has already been in full flow for a while. Even then, with so many exciting technologies that the users have come to expect, such as responsive design, a simple and quick website build is no longer the norm.
With web designers’ roles expanding to manage many different aspects of a project, from branding through to content, gone are the days of a simple design and build.
A new era of more rounded web designers has begun…