Imagine that you have a new client, and this client needs to design a new website for his business.
Clients usually start with their corporate identity creating their logo, color theme and their brand that will engage with audience and will create awareness for their business.
And as you are a freelance designer or a development studio; the client will send you a brief about his mission, vision and a document that describes his services or products…thinking that this is all you need to know in order to create a website in no-time.
Actually, you are going in the wrong direction!
Here is what i usually do and gather at the beginning of any project i work on:
* Competitors analysis and gathering related websites / suggested websites from the client.
* Analyzing clients brand and come up with the most relevant graphical style and color scheme for the website. because sometimes the corporate identity created for printing materials are not the perfect combination for the web and online presence.
2- User Requirements/ Identifying the needs, goals, and tasks of the website users
3- System Requirements/
Application requirements, server, database, etc..
And this also includes:
a) Functional Requirements: what the website should do?
b) Functional Specifications:
Functional specification is describing the functional elements of that page or the page type. For example, a page layout may require the following functions: shopping cart, navigation elements, email subscription section, search form.
4- Define the information flow and sitemap
5- Create wireframes / mockups
After designing wireframes using best user experience practice; these wireframes should be transformed into a graphical interface design that should be coded and developed as web pages in the following steps.
I hope this story is helpful for you.