Web Design

A Step-By-Step Process for Your New Website Design Project

By Matt Merlino| 9 Min Read | October 9, 2023
Web Design Pittsburgh | A step by step process for your new website design project Image

The internet is dominated by uniform layouts and uninspiring interfaces. At DOM, we do our best to not only break the mold of boring sites of the past but also to make sure that your company is set up to make successful impressions that convey your business goals.

Getting Started

Understanding the Key Components of Website Design

We specialize in creating websites that accurately reflect your unique culture and brand. We take the time to understand your business inside and out so that we can create a website that feels like a natural extension of your company.

But it’s not just about aesthetics. We also focus on creating a website that is:

How Web Design & Development Can Help Your Business

  • A properly designed website builds trust in your business and encourages customers to learn more about you.
  • Your pages’ loading speeds can be improved, leading to greater engagement rates.
  • Your website may have broken links or orphaned pages, frustrating customers when they attempt to gather information about you.
  • Your site may be improperly tailored to mobile devices, leaving a large group of your customers unable to access or navigate your site.
  • You may be unaware of problems that are hampering your site, whether technical or design-focused.

Benefits of Custom Website Development

We custom-develop each website uniquely as a solution to your needs. We build a platform for the future so that as you grow, you have a site that can handle your needs and expand as necessary. 

While our team is well-versed in all of the current web languages, the vast majority of sites we develop are on the well-supported WordPress content management system. This allows you the ability to more easily create, edit, organize, and publish content without having to write a single line of HTML code, letting you take the reins when quick changes need to be made. This gives added flexibility to keep your site up to date without having to consult a web professional. 

We also offer site management, allowing you to take your focus off the website entirely while we maintain and update it as needed. 

All of our websites are developed with optimal load speed and practical functionality based on up-to-date best practices in the ever-changing world of the web, including mobile responsiveness and mobile experiences. 

Is your website in need of a redesign? Get your free website development consultation now.

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Brainstorming & Research

Before our team begins any hands-on execution of a new website project, we dive into extensive collaborative sessions that allow our experts to familiarize themselves with your brand, ideate, and visualize innovative ways to ensure your company stands out.

Market Research 

Before diving into a project, our team engages in a collaborative brainstorming session to evaluate similar brands and companies, compile inspiration, research your target audience, and discuss the latest trends you may want to implement for your new website.

Focus on Visual Design – Marrying Brand with Performance

Identity, messaging, and usability drive the visual design, all with an eye toward conversions.

DOM will work closely with you to develop an intuitive, easy-to-use, user-centered design. This design is curated for the target audience and provides an excellent user experience.

The design also focuses on conversion rate optimization, providing a landscape to encourage prospects to contact you.

Omni Channel Experience – Usability for Any Device

The aesthetic look and feel, user experience, ease of navigation, and quality of content all must factor into the design for mobile and desktop across browser sizes.

We design for these different experiences with a keen eye for mobile accessibility, as this often serves as a first introduction to your brand and can determine whether users continue through your marketing and sales funnels.

Your brand will virtually be in your customers’ hands whenever they want to engage with it. We will ensure you are ready whenever and wherever they are with a mobile experience that is as seamless as it will be working with you.

We also emphasize site speed to enhance engagement, increase conversions, and improve search engine performance.

Kickoff Meeting

Now that the contract is signed, it’s time to get a meeting on the books to discuss your project in-depth, learn about your specific goals and needs, and review the project timeline.

Our experts ask questions to understand exactly what you’re looking for in your new website.

  • Will the new site be designed entirely from scratch?
  • Is the content on your current site relevant?
  • Does your new site need to be rebranded?
  • Who are your direct competitors? 

The kickoff meeting is an excellent time to provide brand guidelines, photography, logo files, content, and anything else that may be helpful for our team to make your vision come to life during the new site build.

Design Phase 

Site Mapping

If you have a previously created website, the designer reviews the live site with our SEO team to outline a feasible layout.

From there, the designer takes the outline and builds your site map in our preferred prototyping application, Adobe XD.

Upon completion, our team sets up a meeting to walk through the sitemap with you, answer any questions you may have, and source any feedback or revisions. 

Once the site map is approved, the team begins working on the homepage wireframe.

Homepage Wireframe

Wireframing offers a skeleton look at your new website design with an emphasis on content placement, space, functionality, and behavior without any imagery or color present throughout the interface.

Our wireframes are designed with a 12-column grid with Bootstrap grid widths that allow for seamless breaks between mobile and desktop versions of the site. 

While the page may look boring or even confusing at first, this stage allows our team to adequately create the backbone of your new website.

After the homepage prototype has been created, a meeting is set up to walk through the design and answer any questions you have. If adjustments are required, we take the feedback from the meeting, make the changes, and regroup, repeating this process until the wireframe is approved. 

Internal Wireframes

Your homepage wireframe has been approved, and the designer is now wireframing the remainder of the website in the same style, linking pages together to accurately depict page flows for all additional pages found on your site.

Once the remaining pages have been designed and prototyped, we regroup again to review the design and answer any questions. Implementing feedback as necessary until approval. 

Homepage Design

This is when your website begins to look like a real website and your brand comes to life.

Using the homepage wireframe as the base template, images, colors, fonts, and other design elements are implemented into the layout. Our team works hard to infuse your website with elements that your consumers will appreciate and understand.

Once the new homepage is ready for review, we regroup to walk through the design and answer questions. After the regrouping, we take your feedback and revisions and adjust the layout accordingly, repeating the review process until the homepage design is approved.

Keep in mind that any revision requests could add additional time to the project outlook, depending on the extensivity. 

Internal Designs

Our final step of the design process – similar to the homepage design – is where images, fonts, colors, and other elements are added to the remaining pages of the website design. 

All remaining copy and content should be added to the site during this step to wrap up the layout and avoid making changes to any layouts after development has begun. 

When the internal designs are ready for review (typically a few weeks after the approval of the homepage) we regroup to walk through the layout and answer questions, making any necessary changes until receiving final approval.

Development Phase

Now that you’re happy with the look of the website it’s time to pass the project over to our web developers to bring the design to life. 

They begin by coding the homepage, header, footer, and internal page templates.

Once development is between 85-90% complete, we send the staging link for review and set up a meeting to walk through the website to review and answer questions. From here, the team will make any requested changes, and repeat as needed.

Quality Assurance

Your website is about to launch, but we want to make sure that everything is perfect before going live online. 

Our design and development teams regroup to complete a thorough internal quality assurance check to ensure everything is functioning properly, all links are working correctly, ADA compliance standards are met, and all elements from the approved design are accurately translated to the functional website. 

Our analytics team also performs a quality assurance check to make sure that Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has been properly implemented on your new site.

Website Launch

Our team coordinates a date that the website will officially go live online. In an effort to avoid any missteps, we prefer to launch new websites Monday-Thursday for appropriate post-launch monitoring.

The developer will host a WordPress walkthrough training session with you to make sure you understand how to add new content and make any updates to the website in the future. 

After the site has launched, our design, development, and analytics teams perform post-launch quality assurance checks to make sure your website is in good shape.

We did it! Your website is live and already making a lasting impression.

Is your website in need of a redesign? Get your free website development consultation now.

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Read more about how our website design and development services can help your business make impressions that matter.

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