This is part two of our guide on how to ensure you start a new website design project with all your “t”s crossed and “i”s dotted.
It deals with what we call The Five P’s. In part one, “Easy Website Design Checklist,” we showed you how to define your purpose, and conduct essential planning. Below, we’ll now delve into early production, applying final spit and polish, and everybody’s favorite part, publishing your new website!
Next, you produce the actual templates. Don’t worry about colors, content, don’t even worry about folder names or finalizing the sections and navigation titles at this stage.
This next step to making your new web design project easier, is to put invisible boxes down into HTML code so that you can confirm everything will fit as planned.
When you’re doing this early production prototype, don’t use borders to help you preview the use of space – use background colors instead. Borders add padding, which will disrupt your carefully-planned use of space. Background colors don’t.
(Of course, if you do plan on having borders on some elements, do add those at this stage.)
Prototype each layout in your new site’s design. Throw in filler content, images, and navigation links of every length, to see how it will actually play out in the finished product. Create a simple mockup that uses each new template, and don’t forget to also throw in a few featured content links, in-site service ad banners, and so forth. (Find the Interactive Ad Bureau website for guidance on standard ad banner sizes.)
This step is easy, fun, and allows you to start removing the background colors that originally showed you whether or not you were laying down your box spaces correctly, once you see that they behave correctly when filled with content.
Once you’ve gotten this far, you’ll be on to the easiest possible new web design production experiences you could ask for – and that’s great, because we’re also on to the really fun parts you’ve been dying to achieve…
No doubt, when you threw in your filler content, every single step drove you to distraction. That nav menu would look so great with [insert effect idea here]. The core content should be in [font specification here] and the featured content should look like [other font specification]. Hopefully, you put these items aside, except when there was a risk that the change would force you back to the planning stage.
Now, it’s time to make those thousands of easy web design tweaks that take your new design from good, to perfect.
You know what you want to do here… so do it! And don’t forget to use modern CSS instead of those clumsy old quirks-mode markup codes. This is a fine time to learn as you go, because you’ve removed every headache along the way.
The best part of any new web design project is pushing it to a web server and seeing the full glory at work.
This is the essence of web design – you get the necessary evils of foresight and planning out of the way as your first steps, and then the fun stuff flows easily, allowing you to learn more as you go.