Website Design Checklist: How it Helps You Create a Website You Need

59% of People prefer a beautifully designed website. However, doing so could be tricky and time-consuming.

While it may seem easy, trying to remember everything is difficult to attain.

And this is where a website design checklist comes into the picture. A well-defined checklist can help ensure processes such as client interactions, prototype designing, coding, programming, testing, and everything in between.

And that is how a website design checklist can make your life easier by ensuring everything is at its place while keeping track of all the nitty-gritty of the processes.

A well-documented website design process checklist also helps save time, money, effort, and efficiency. It also ensures that enterprises don’t end up overlooking some core aspects such as content, usability, accessibility, and standards.

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Step #1: Outline the Client Brief

The primary goals of website design need to be established before you begin the web design process. The process entails laying a strong foundation before figuring out minute details. This helps to deliver the projected business results and navigate the direction accurately.

This can be done by following these practices:

  • Setting up a client meeting
  • Collecting the briefing documents from the client and getting client briefs with a questionnaire or a website requirements checklist to understand their expectations.
  • Research client demographics, brand tonality, audiences, and competitors
  • Get quotations for development, design, content, photo/video production, and hosting/domain.
  • Preparing a proposal
  • The steps could also include or exclude the above-mentioned steps according to the scope of work and type of project.

The outline should be laid out on the following basis:

  • Company – The company specialization and the value it provides
  • The goals – The primary objective and the problems a website solves
  • Target audience – The demographics or the customer persona the enterprise will serve
  • Competitors – The competitors, and who the enterprise serves

Step #2: Plan the Technical Details and Strategy

This stage defines the strategy and its direction, which includes the technical or creative brief. Since these briefs lay the foundation for the steps to follow it is necessary to spend a considerable amount on getting the details right.

This process requires designers, developers, copywriters, and SEO strategists. Determining milestones and deadlines are vital aspects implemented at this stage. The aspects covered in this phase are as follows:

Technical Aspects

Selecting the programming language and the content management system and if they align with the budget and requirements of the enterprise.

SEO and Content Strategy

Work with SEO strategists and copywriters on content development and website copies. Run an audit and see if the current content can be further refined to match the standards of the current times. Ensure accurate keyword research to reach out to the target audience effectively.

Wireframes and Sitemap

Detailed documentation of the wireframes and sitemaps can considerably help to lay the foundation for website development.

This stage helps to finalize the page hierarchy, siloes, visual design, content elements, and the webpages. These aspects can be completed with the following tools:

  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe InDesign

Step #3: Create Website Design

Aspects such as colors play a key role in determining how your website and brand are perceived. This stage deals with website blueprint creation.

The process involves determining the color palette, logo, font styles, imagery, and other visual elements of the website. These decisions need to be made based on how these visual elements interact with varied devices. For example, diverse fonts can differentiate heading, body texts, and other navigation aspects.

To easily sail through this process, creating a prototype can give the feel of how the website will look. A prototype being iterative allows endless changes to be made to it with ease.

This phase calls for good design and developer compatibility. The stage caters to the following aspects:

Brand style guide

This refers to the design elements of the brand to ensure consistency. This guide revolves around the color palettes, iconography, color alternatives, imagery, etc.

Prototypes and screen flows

A prototype is a mock product that helps developers evaluate gestures, navigations, interactions, and user behaviors. Screen flows refer to how developers gauge specific features and how they interact with each other.

Step #4: Craft the Relevant Content

The right content is essential to reach your audience and persuade them to take action. A website’s content should speak volumes about how it can solve the visitors’ problems and should be easy to understand.

Targeted content should be included on the following pages:

  • Homepage
  • Products/Services
  • Contact
  • Testimonials
  • About
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Blogs
  • News
  • Resources and More

Enterprises shouldn't aimlessly overwhelm visitors with information, rather they should focus on building trust and credibility. If you still think that content isn’t an essential element when designing an incredible website, think again! Studies show that 34.6% of users said that they left the site due to poor content structure.

Showcasing the following on the website can help:

  • Testimonials
  • Media features
  • Third-party certifications
  • Awards
  • Before and after results

It is true when they say – show, don’t tell!

Be quick in grabbing the visitors’ attention with engaging copies.

Copies on a website can engage your readers by striking a chord with their emotions. Research what your readers want, let them know what’s in it for them and finally get them excited to buy your product. This can be done with a brief CTA so that you can easily persuade the visitors to take action.

The CTA’s can be:

  • Booking a consultation
  • Subscribe to a newsletter
  • Download a report
  • Signup for a webinar
  • Follow on social media

Enterprises should also include social media marketing and SEO strategy in their website design checklist. Evaluating the website performance can also be done with Google Analytics comprehensively.

Step #5: Add Impactful Images

Rather than using images from Google, opt for adding original pictures. Enterprises need to have a copyright or a license to use a specific image. Original images are beneficial because Google prefers original content and can help the website rank higher.

Experiment using free image banks that allow using free images under the creative commons license. Note that these images may also be used by other brands that may be competitors.

Professional image banks are yet another option. This might require some investment but will offer you a high-quality and professional image. Some of these sources are:

  • Getty Images
  • Shutterstock
  • Adobe image
  • Istock photo

Enterprises can resort to editing software to tweak the image to make it personalized. One such prominent tool is Canva. Poor images might lead to diminishing results.

Step #6: Add Videos

Videos have endless potential compared to plain texts. Adding videos can help your website to stand out from your competitors.

Videos can also give the visitors a thorough and quick understanding of the product in one go rather than reading long texts. Videos can boost credibility as they also show the products’ benefits when put to use.

Using the right video tags can also boost search engine rankings.

Step #7: Develop and Test the Website

This is when the design is translated into code.

Reaching this stage will require optimizing, and quality assurance tests on several layers. This stage requires seamless communication between designers, and front-end and back-end developers.

Documenting these milestones and iterations can be beneficial in the long run. A project manager can help drive clarity to the workflow, and act as a link between the team and the client.

Step #8: Launch and Maintenance

The launch and maintenance process occurs when the optimization is done. This is the last process in the website design checklist.

A double check can be done on the following parameters:

  • If images and animations are working right and are placed correctly. Tests should also be run to ensure these elements are functional on all devices and formatted well.
  • Ensure all the links across the web pages are working properly.
  • Integrations with third-party tools such as e-commerce software and CRM tools work perfectly.
  • If the website is responsive on mobile devices. Developers need to note that a staggering 53% of mobile users will leave a website if it doesn’t load on a mobile device within 3 seconds.
  • Proofread content and conduct grammar checks. This can be done with certain online tools.
  • If the technical aspects have been tested and checked before implementation.

The final step involves sending the updates to the client, waiting for feedback if any, implementing the same, and waiting for the final sign-off.

However, these steps don’t mean the end of the website development process. The maintenance and upgrades after the website launch are equally crucial. The maintenance process will continue for as long as the website is functional.

Some common upgrades include checking technical glitches and updating the content and plugins. These updates can be primarily done based on trends and customer preferences.

Despite resorting to a robust strategy, chances are that things might take a turn for the worse. To avoid this possibility, enterprises should ensure maintaining a backup of the website.

Types of Website Design Checklist

There are different types of website design checklists based on the workflow and the goal. Each checklist is selected based on what the workflow is expected to deliver.

Below are some types of website design checklists:

  • Client Focused Checklist
  • Pre-launch Checklists
  • WordPress Checklists
  • Ultimate Web Design Checklist
  • General Web Design Checklist
  • Usability Checklists
  • Search Engine Optimization Checklists (SEO)
  • Marketing Checklists

Website Design Checklist – Key Takeaways

While handling multiple tasks, it's easy to feel that something has been left behind.

Ensuring responsiveness, zero glitches, superior customer experience, and more are just the tip of the iceberg. Apart from the other skills required, developing a website requires commitment throughout the phases.

With a comprehensive website design checklist, you can simply tick things off as soon as they are done. This allows firms to visualize their progress, which can be crucial in concluding weekly standup calls.

Despite being an ongoing process, getting the basics right can help with a great start!

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