We are often asked about our design workflow, so we’ve decided to share a bit of our expertise in this blog post.
Every experience online is built around 4 core pillars: discover, define, design, and deliver. Each pillar is very important to the successful realization of a web project.
Are you curious to learn more about it? Let us tell you how the alchemy of digital creative happens behind the scenes.
Each of the projects we produce starts with a discovery phase. Gathering information is a crucial part in the development of a site or online campaign. The discovery phase has several steps.
We conduct in-depth interviews with a brand’s main stakeholders. This allows us to evaluate the existing product positioning, marketing, and current website pain points.
We also conduct competitive research to understand alternative products or services in the market.
The goals of the discovery phase are to:
- analyze the corporate landscape and define the main competitors
- outline the project audience
- define the website purposes
- shape the campaign structure
- identify good visual benchmark examples (if any)
- set a tone of voice for the visual communication
- define the scope of the project and set accurate timelines
- determine any content, functionalities, and related specific details
- define ADA compliance targets
Both our team and our client’s designated team take part in this initial brand exploration. The discovery process helps everyone understand and reset the specific details of the project.
Creating a website design or a digital campaign is a collaborative process. During the “define” phase, our UX designers develop the site’s architecture and examine the navigation paths between pages. Our business analysts use this stage of the project to probe the business objectives of a specific page. Our developers review the final wireframes for functional accuracy. And lastly, our project stakeholders are involved early and often to ensure all requirements are met.
This is where we think and plan from every angle and every marketing platform. We discuss the best technology to use, co-create the site map and wireframes, and plan for all page content. We also analyze the photography and imagery that would fit best with the objectives of the brand.
At this stage of the design, our team completes the following assets:
Site Map & Content Mapping
At the end of the Define phase, we produce a precise prototype of the home webpage, that will serve as a baseline for the design, motion/animations, and front-end to back-end development.
Once we are confident we have the perfect concept, we bring the idea to our designers for a spin in the wow factory.
Once the tone-of-voice is set and we have a clear understanding of the website structure and content, we start working on the visual design.
Finding the right artistic expression is extremely important. Creative visuals are the storefront of a brand, its unique identity, and a powerful driver to success. Eye-catchy content is king. It helps connect a business with its customers and carries an emotional impact.
Another important aspect of the design are micro-interactions and animations. As they are part of the general user experience, they are usually built alongside the visual representation of the different pages.
Enhanced illustrations to support content creation and copywriting are also produced during the design phase.
Front-end development starts immediately after a design is approved. Unlike most companies, our front-end development not only includes turning the visual design into code (HTML), but also extending the user experience to a totally different level, by implementing special effects and animations. All the projects we design are engineered for multiscreen experiences, meaning that building a responsive version of a website/digital campaign happens by default.
When the front-end design is final, our back-end developers take over. All the dynamic content is now linked with the website’s content management system (CMS) interface.
We also run quality assurance and testing to clear any potential visual and functional problems of the project on all the latest browsers and devices. Depending on the complexity and needs of the project, quality assurance may support various user testing. When everything is ready, we go live and deploy the website online.
There you go! Those are our 4D’s of the digital creative process. Each phase is extremely important for the project and could make or break the final result. And one more lesson in web design: it takes a team to move a mountain. Even the most creative idea is not enough by itself. To design a stellar page or web campaign, you need to trust an established process and rely on every expert of your team to perform at their best.
This is what we strive for at eDesign. We aim to deliver the most outstanding work in every pixel. We do what we do because we love it. We are excited to develop unconventional projects. We are excited to work with our clients. We are excited to make things happen.