When you are working as a freelance web designer or if you work for a design firm, understanding how to effectively communicate with clients is a key factor in having success in the industry. Website design projects require thorough planning and approval from clients, which can be done methodically regardless of the type of website you are creating and the size of the site overall. Following a few steps in order can help to ensure the website that you create is exactly what your client envisioned when he or she began to work with you.
Gathering clients is the first step to having success as a web designer, especially if you are working independently as a freelance web designer. You can find clients by creating your own personal website complete with your experience, background and even a full portfolio of past works and designs you have created yourself. It is also possible to join online design communities where you can easily upload and share your portfolio works with other designers and those who are seeking assistance with their own projects.
Use a Questionnaire
To gather the required informations from your client before you start your web design process you can design and publish a client questionnaire on your own website or within your design firm’s website. This will allow you to find out what kind of layouts or features they are interested in. It is important to also ask for sample websites that your client prefers the design or usability within in order to help with getting inspiration for when you begin to create their very own website.
Create the Website’s Structure
Before you can start coding and programming the website you are creating, it is important to design a website structure that will be useful for the type of content, services and products that are going to be published on the site by the client. Understanding the purpose of the website and the types of users the client is focused on will help you to choose whether a single, double or even a triple-column website layout is best and whether you should be using a CMS (content management system) or basic formatting to launch the website in.
Comparing websites within the same industry online is a way to view various layouts that are currently in style and trending for your client to help with suiting any needs or preferences your client may have about the look and feel of their website before you launch it officially.
It is vital to implement branding when you are considering the look and overall feel of the website you are working on. Branding consists of understanding the type of logo you should use on the site, products and any content that is being published on the website you are planning to build as well. Integrating a client’s logo is a fundamental process of designing a website. Understanding the style of the logo and the specific colors that work well with the logo will also help when finalizing the layout and design of the website’s structure.
Selecting a CMS or Coding Method
Choosing a CMS (content management system) or coding method that is right for your client’s website greatly depends on whether or not your client has a preference and the size of the website. If the client plans to update the website frequently and on a regular basis, utilizing a CMS such as WordPress or Joomla is an ideal option. However, if your client only wants to produce a few pages for their business or a brand they are promoting and if they have no intention to update the site regularly, a simple HTML or PHP-based website is much simpler and does not require as much integration of layouts and graphics.
Testing the Website
Testing the website you create is an essential part of working as a professional web designer, as it is important that all sites you create and publish work well in multiple browsers and various browser resolutions that the general public often utilizes. Testing the usability of the website you create, loading speed and even the quality of the graphics that have been uploaded and used helps to ensure the website is properly formatted and in working order before you show the final result to your client.
After you have tested the website and have had additional web developers test the site as well, it is time to seek out your client’s approval. Sending the website to your client to review can be done on a test server to avoid publishing the site live before you receive the “OK” from your client him or herself. Once the website’s design and overall look has been approved, you can then complete the job, collect your payment and launch the website live for your client.
Article by Karol
Karol works as a web developer and knowing all the web design steps is crucial for his success. Web design can be tough in some cases, that’s why he spends lots of his time on learning new technology and coding tricks.