Feb 12, 2017

Digital Design is Architecture

When introducing a client to the process of building their new website or app, I often like to reference the process of building a house. From time-to-time a client will be under the impression a designer exists to make a platform more visually pleasing to the eye of their customers which simply isn’t the case. Sometimes you just need to knock things down and start over.

Throughout the process, we like to collaborate with the client ensuring the knowledge of our combined industry specialisms is maximised.

Step 1

The drawing board (UX)

We start by working out the intended user requirements. We need to calculate why a user will be in certain areas, how they arrived there, and what particular things they’ll require to be accessible along the way. This is called UX (User experience) design. Upon understanding the objectives and purpose of the build, we can then look at designing how this will flow from one area to another. Once we’ve got the core user journeys penciled out, we can start to consider the black and white outlines of the design, much like architectural drawings.

 

Step 2

Planning Application (Client feedback)

We’re now at the stage where we can produce our proposed thinking for the clients consideration. This stage consists of making sure all of the key objectives are ticked and the overall proposed feel is to industry standard specs. After-all, you wouldn’t want to build an abstract modern building at the heart of a historic village. Users want to feel reassured and at home when visiting a destination they’ve painted a picture of in their mind.

 

Step 3

Interior/Exterior design (UI)

Once we’re happy with how the proposed site flows, we’re able to start considering the UI (user interface) design. This is the fun part… We’re then able to inject the personality and desired charm into the website with little nods to specific industry references. We can really start to design how certain elements will look, respond and communicate the messaging throughout.

 

Step 4

The Build (Development)

Now we’re happy with how the site plan is communicating is message and how everything looks and flows, we can begin to work on the build. We begin this stage by considering how to best build this and on what platform. Much like considering and selecting your materials for the building. We’re then able to look at utilising pre fabricated plugins for certain interactive elements of a site (like a booking form or a shop) much like you would when installing intricate automatic glazing or fingerprint recognition locks.

 

Step 5

Final touches (Design refinement)

Once the build is complete, we’re at the stage where we can look back at the process and examine what we have left in the budget to splash out on lovely little touches. This is where some really nice, tactile transitions and features can really bring a website to life.

 

Step 6

House warming (Go live)

Now the project is complete, we can crack open a beer and unveil your brand new shiny website for all to see, reassuring and pleasing your existing customers and attracting you lots of new ones.

written by James Collins