The graphic design and technical development of a search optimized website is a multifaceted and complex process that involves both aesthetic and user interface functionality considerations. This is an overview of a few key elements of a development project.
Understanding the Project Objectives
– Client Briefing: To understand their site requirements, end objectives, target audience, and competitors.
Site Structure & Planning
– Site Map: Define the main navigation structure and determine which pages and features the site will include. Typically, this will be a chart indicating all pages and functionality of the website and how they are linked.
– Alongside the design wireframing of the pages, it is important to have an understanding of the amount of copy that each page will be representing as this can certainly affect the layout of a page.
– Wireframe: Create low attribute, basic layout structures for each of the web pages to understand the placement of elements without design details. Determining a set number of design templates to represent the web pages.
– Design Elements: Present colors, fonts, images, icons, and other visual elements to gather opinions, likes and dislikes.
– Development Server: A development (staging) server should be created on the client’s host account. This will provide testing URLs for all to review each page, and functionality, in a browser window as the pages are coded.
Review & Launch
– Quality Review: Prior to going ‘live’, all aspects of the website need tested including submit icons, website email, anchor links, payment processing, and other plugins to ensure consistent appearance and functionality.
Post Launch Activities
– Website Analytics: Pre launch, it is recommended to install both Google Analytics and Search Console.
Remember, the above steps can be modified or expanded based on the project’s complexity and specific requirements such as eCommerce projects have additional challenges and have a much longer project scope. Effective communication between the designer, client, and development team will make for a successful project outcome.