Creating a design for the site or web application – this is the most subjectively evaluated stage of web application development, often causing difficulties as at the stage of problem definition, and at the stage of delivery and acceptance of work performed. Design – the development of graphic layouts of the interface. The result of work on the stage: a set of layouts of the main screens in PSD, AI or other suitable format, which are needed for further HTML-composition. Sometimes, in addition to the main screens, individual interface elements are also drawn and straight lines are created.
Formulate goals and constraints
The contractor performing design work must understand why he creates the interface, what tasks this interface will solve and who will use this interface. Work built in the style of “make me like it” does not bring good results.
The optimal approach is to create one quality version. Designer time in any case is paid by the Customer, so if the budget is limited, and the Customer requires a large number of variants of layouts, then each of them will not be spent enough time and they will not be properly developed. Prototyping is an excellent way to define a concept even at the design stage: prototypes are cheaper and faster to produce, and they solve the problem of developing a concept.
Involve all decision makers on the project in the acceptance process. Otherwise, problems may arise at the launch of the product – if the investor, business owner or director will see not the design, but the finished site or application, and he will have comments or suggestions, then their introduction to the already finished project will be significantly more expensive than if these comments were taken into account in a timely manner.
Check the compliance of layouts with the technical task: it happens that the layouts are not presented individual required components or, conversely, reflected an unwritten functionality. Both are fraught with further problems at the programming stage. The goal of design is to achieve a balance between aesthetics and friendliness of the interface. But usability, as a rule, is more important than abstract “beauty”: commercial sites and web applications are created to solve quite clear and specific problems, and “overloaded” design not only does not contribute to these problems, but also prevents.
When working with a qualified contractor it is most effective to adjust in the format of business requirements, rather than in the style of “move”, “enlarge” and “repaint”. Adjustments in the format of description of the required implementation is a dead-end format of interaction, as in this case the interface will be built not on the basis of the tasks to be solved and not for users, but to satisfy the sense of beauty among decision-makers.
Do not forget about the target audience – the site design is not developed for management and not for the marketing department, moreover, very often these people are very far from the real target audience. Remember this.
Thoughts and A/B tests
In the design process, very often conflicting assumptions arise based on someone else’s opinion. For example, there may well be a debate about the color and size of buttons: someone thinks they need big red “add to cart” buttons, and someone argues for smaller green buttons. This argument may go on long enough, but it is unlikely to be constructive. A great solution would be to conduct an A/B test on an already launched website, where you can show green buttons to half of the audience, red buttons to the other half, and after some time the usage and conversion statistics will show which option is actually more effective.