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Web design process and principles

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The creation and design of a website (web design) is the design of the web interface: interactional architecture, organization of pages, tree and navigating of a website. Designing a web site takes into account the constraints of the Internet media, especially in terms of ergonomics, usability and accessibility.

So web design requires a variety of skills: coding, usability and interactivity, and a good knowledge of technical constraints associated with this area: diversity of web terminals and their views, accessibility, specificities of the different languages and processes portability, compliance with W3C recommendations.

Web site design occurs first time as a working model with technical specifications: ergonomics, graphic design, corporate identity, marketing, interactivity.

A website can be a simple HTML page, services programmed in Java, PHP or other server language, forms processing assuming a JavaScript or AJAX. It may be based on database technologies, eg MySQL.

Web design process

Depending on the type of site, context and resources available to implement, some of these steps are optional or useless. At each of these steps correspond expertises (ergonomics, information architecture, SEO, web writing, etc.).

  1. Project:
    • Establish the site’s purpose, its target, its profitability, financial resources to hire …
    • Establish the desired autonomy and type of human resources for the update.
    • Establish the content: pages, expected services, navigation principles
  2. Implementation:
    • Establish a domain name.
    • Choosing a web host.
    • Choosing and installing a content management system (eg SPIP, Typo3, Drupal, Joomla, Wiki, WordPress, …) and a website WYSIWYG editor (eg Adobe Dreamweaver, phpDesigner, Microsoft Frontpage, NVU Nvu, WebSelf, iziSpot) or text editor (eg Bluefish, Emacs, Notepad ++ …).
  3. Design:
    • Establishment of a HTML or XHTML page structure.
    • Defining a tree
    • Development of a graphic charter
    • Development of an editorial charter
  4. Developing:
    • Creating pages using the content management system or editor. Pages can be created individually or based on a template system.
    • Placing the graphic. CSS styles are used to separate the structure of the presentation.
    • Potential dynamic developments (form, services, etc.)
  5. Follow-up:
    • Testing the site when ready.
    • Site launch: Online publishing.
    • Announcement. Tell the site is be done by several mechanisms: ads, advertising, registration in directories …
    • Update: The update is a basic action of the life of a website. It is to update, modify and evolve the graphical , textual, visual content, and even the structure and functionality of the website.
    • Backup: whatever the type of your website, static or dynamic, it is exposed to several threats: web server spits, hacking, viruses, bugs … so for safety measures, it is very important to make regular backups for data web site (database, content (documents, images, texts …) and all the settings of your accommodation after each update to prevent data loss and ensure continuity of your services on the web.
    • Maintenance: Maintenance of a website is usually to ensure proper operation; there are four types of maintenance: corrective maintenance, preventive maintenance, upgrade maintenance, adaptive maintenance

Site accessibility is a factor to be taken into account at every stage from the development of the structure of the pages. It is also SEO strategy which can be implemented at conception. SEO principles are also to be taken into account when creating templates, integration of pages, writing content, launch, maintenance. Ergonomics is also involved in all stages: design, recipe and audits, continuous improvement.

Business web design

As part of a business website, web design is defined according to the objectives set for it:

  • Corporate website: The first objective is to develop the visibility of supply and brand. The sub-objectives to web design are validating the readability of the identity of the company, improving traffic quality (deeper), facilitating creation of relational capital between visitors and the web site (hence the company optimize the response times of pages.
  • e-Commerce website: The primary objective is to turn visits into sales. The first performance indicator assigned to web design is to reduce the dropout rate of the basket (63% on average).
  • Landing page: The goal of a landing page is to capture a visitor to various sub goals: feeding a database with suspect mails, prospects, demand for pre-qualified contact … three tasks are assigned to web design : access time, consistency of message between the one who captures the visitor and that of the landing page in a goal to have maximum interested traffic, adaptation of input form on target to have a minimum number of abandoned forms.

Foto by shiiiko

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