PixoLabo

Our Custom Web Design Process helps us build better websites and e-commerce stores for our clients, saving them time and money.

An Introduction to Our Custom Web Design Process

At PixoLabo, we have streamlined our custom web design process to be mobile-first, focusing on responsive design from every project’s initial stages.

Here is an outline and explanation of the steps we take when approaching a new web or e-commerce design project.

We often include a brief outline of what will be involved in building a new website on our project estimates. This brief helps our clients prepare and gives them an idea of how much time they will need for each phase.

Below we have included an expanded version of this process, but a lot more general and simplified. This example guide will help you better understand our custom web design process.

However, the process for your project may differ in some ways, given its unique nature. With this in mind, it is always worth asking your web designer how each phase of your specific web design project will work.

How We Build Better Websites for Our Clients

Our Custom Web Design Process

The Web Design Brief

Usually, our clients will have a clear idea of what they require before approaching us to quote on building them a new website. To help us understand this, they give us a web design requirement specification.

A web design brief is simply a written document that outlines all the things you want our web designers to know you need in your website. It needs to answer all the essential questions your web designer will ask.

Generally, a simple web design requirement specification will include:

  1. The time frame for each deliverable
  2. Budget
  3. Mission-critical requirements
  4. Ideal inclusions
  5. Technical requirements
  6. Reference websites
  7. Primary points of contact

Preparing a document like this is a great way to help fast-track these early stages of your web design project. It allows our web design team to understand how long they have to deliver the website.

We also learn what your website needs to do and how much your company can afford to invest in the new website.

Once we’re clear on these details, we’ll be able to provide an indicative web design estimate along with a range of implementation strategies, optional inclusion costs, and a staged rollout plan.

During our initial consultation with a potential client, the first step is to develop the site information architecture and navigation.

Knowing the overall information architecture, user flow, and what pages and sub-pages will exist is an essential early step in our custom web design process.

Sitemap and Information Architecture

Content Development

Before any design begins, we lock down the content that lives on the site. This part of our custom web design process is a collaborative effort with our clients.

We work together to determine the scope and organization of content for the entire website. We share and exchange documents and other assets via Dropbox or Google Drive.

Many of our new clients don’t understand why we can’t simply show them a design for their new website or e-commerce store and add content later. It is the web designer version of who came first, the chicken or the egg.

As web designers, we need to know what we need to design for before designing.

We are not focusing on the exact layout and presentation of content at this stage. We want to make sure we know “what” needs to be there before determining “how.”

After the sitemap and content are approved, we involve the design and development teams to discuss layouts and possibilities. This step ensures we’re clear on the presentation of content and ensure that we stay in scope.

It comes as a surprise to many of our clients that we don’t provide wireframes or mockups. Instead, we design and develop the initial concepts on a staging server. Our clients can test the functionality across multiple devices instead of seeing it on a sheet of paper.

Talking through functionality at this stage is crucial to the overall design and development process. Through our discussion, we develop initial design concepts for our clients.

Knowing what the content is and how it needs to fit together with other elements, we can move into the website design phase.

Layout and Design Concepts

Mobile-First Website Design

We approach website design from a mobile-first, responsive perspective. As we begin working on the design concepts, we design for both desktop and mobile to ensure all of the designed elements conform to various devices, browsers, and screen sizes.

Depending on the project’s size and scope, we select several pages to design and share with the client. We also provide a style guide for the overall website. After review and making required revisions to the design, we move into the work’s website development phase.

Once the designs are approved both internally, and by the client, we move into development. We use the final design concepts to build out the site at this stage of our custom web design process.

For maximum scalability and functionality in the future, we use a modular framework instead of themes or templates.

There is another advantage to using a modular framework. It gives our creative teams virtually unlimited options for design and functionality.

We recommend WordPress to all our web design clients. It is our preferred content management system (CMS).

WordPress is mobile-friendly and, most importantly, easy for our clients to update and maintain post-launch and into the future.

This step is also when we add all required website functionality. Functionality includes everything from the hover state for links and buttons to e-commerce shopping carts and payment gateways.

Adding Modules and Functionality

Website QA and Testing

A critical step in our custom web design process is to make sure your new online presence is fully functional before we launch it. Therefore, we test everything internally and allow the client an opportunity to test the site thoroughly before launch.

Client input is critical at this stage. Making changes and revisions on our staging server is a much better option than to endlessly tweak a live site. This is why we invite the client to test drive their new site and kick the tires.

We use online tools to track needed fixes, pinpoint specific issues directly on the live (staging) site, and keeping the testing phase as efficient as possible.

One of the last steps in our custom web design process is launching your new site or online store. We flip the switch, and the website is live!

We make it sound so simple! But our team performs many tasks behind the scenes to ensure the live site looks and functions as planned.

We test all functionality, install and configure SSL Certificates, verify your site with Google, and create a complete backup of your site.

Website Launch

Search Engine and Website Optimization

Launching your new website is only the first step. We like to refer to it as giving birth to your baby. But many things need to be done to ensure your website or online store run smoothly and support your business objectives.

We can add website security features, improve your page load speed, and help you increase your search rankings and visibility.

Many of our clients want to focus on running their business instead of their website. For them, our custom web design process includes services such as website hosting and maintenance.

Other clients want to update their content. For them, we provide comprehensive content management training, demonstrating how to update content and manage the site internally.

In either case, our team is always happy to answer questions and provide required follow-up support. It is all part of our custom web design process.

Ongoing Support

Why We Follow Our Custom Web Design Process

Our custom web design process may not be revolutionary. We refined it from 17+ years of planning, designing, and developing websites big and small with clients in industries spanning B2B and B2C markets and audiences.

Taking the time to develop a sitemap, plan content, design initial concepts, and test required functionality results in a better-designed online presence. Even better, it helps our clients save on costs and our team to deliver the final project faster.

Our primary focus is to help our clients build a website or e-commerce store as an effective tool for any business or product brand. Our custom web design process helps both our clients and us to reach that goal.

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To us, it does not matter if you are a super big agency, a fresh startup, a tiny business, or just someone with an idea or an unfinished idea about a project. We are willing to discuss any potential project requirements.

If you are interested in our custom web design process, we want to talk with you. We encourage you to reach out for a free consultation and a no-obligation estimate.

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