Design is one of the most vital processes in website development or application creation. Many people still think that design is something magically simple, which is not true. Let’s take a look at the most common steps and actions of the design process from its very deployment.
Application Design Process Steps
In fact, the design and development process requires a lot of time and resources. The software design development process becomes much more challenging when customers don’t know what they want and have one single requirement to make it beautiful. Such cases are not isolated.
Many people don’t have enough understanding of the design at the early stages of the development process that makes the process more complicated.
The work of any designer requires knowledge and skills that have to be constantly honed. Below, you will find the essential software design process steps, from starting from scratch to fully completing the design.
Step #1: Communication with the Customer
It’s crucial to discuss the project with the customer in details before starting the whole design process. A designer has to talk about all the points of the project, ask questions about it to better understand the idea and purpose of the product, its audience, and solutions it can bring to potential users.
Step #2: Do Some Research
Communication with the customer is followed by conducting research. It’s paramount to get as much info about the product as possible as well as about the market this product will get into. First of all, each product has its own specific target audience that has to be determined.
Then, a designer has to study all competitors and find out their main strengths and weaknesses. Based on this info, the basic style of a website or app has to be defined with the main elements that will match the product. And finally, a designer has to think of the main color scheme, graphics, fonts, and other visual materials that will be used for a website or app.
After the research is done, all ideas and findings have to be demonstrated to the customer. The most convenient way to do this is to create a document with all suggestions on a mood board. It will help the client assess and adjust the visual ideas before the development starts. After discussing all the details and receiving customer’s feedback, a designer has to determine the estimated time needed for the design development.
Step #3: The Process of Wireframe Design
Once the design ideas are approved by the customer, the next step will be to tackle wireframes, which are interactive schematic pages of a website or application. Wireframes allow designers to create bare bones of the product design. The customer will be able to see the connection between screen blocks and understand the future functionality of the product.
Professional designers always take into consideration the core design principles. A famous Norman’s three-legged stool approach represents the main elements that the design is based on:
- Business and issues it faces;
- Potential users, their needs, and the way they perceive the info;
- Technological resources.
Even the absence of one of these elements will not let the product work properly. All three elements are very important, and during the interface development, each of them has to be considered.
Effective development of wireframes is only possible with the constant feedback and communication with the customer. For the designer, describing and explaining ideas, getting feedback, and adjusting wireframes based on the reaction are essential. The designer has to repeat details over and over again until all of them are approved by the customer.
The designer has to be user-oriented if he or she wants to create an intuitive and convenient design — even the smallest detail matter. The process of creation of wireframes requires to think over each element that the user will interact with. Mocking up the design helps not to miss crucial details.
If some of the details were missed, it would be much easier to detect and improve it if designer see the visual idea. The main task is to determine missing elements and details before the process of HTML/CSS coding begins. At this stage, making any changes will be much more difficult.
If designer begin the product design development process with creating well-designed wireframes which meet customer’s requirements and expectations, the final results will be more effective and successful.
Step #4: Starting the Design Development Process
After creating wireframes designer will be able to tackle the design process itself. While creating a logo and homepage, it’s necessary to take into consideration not just wireframes but also the mood board that designer have created during step #2.
Often the customer likes the early design ideas, and they become a part of the final look. Once the logo and the homepage are finished, the customer’s feedback will help to make final adjustments if required.
After this, the designer can start designing the internal website pages. This stage takes a lot of resources and time as it’s the most voluminous part that includes both simple and complex pages with diverse interface elements. It’s important to think over even the smallest details beforehand. These include potential mistakes, drop-down menus, entry fields, etc.
Only after the approval of these internal pages by the customer, it is possible to start working on customization for different devices. This task is comparatively much easier as the main part of all job is already done and approved.
At the same time, there are many details that should be considered as well. For example, it’s important to take care of how the menu looks when it’s closed. A professional should also countercheck the behavior of text blocks and forms. The main requirement is to work on adaptive design so the end user can see the quality website on the different devices.
Step #5: Post-Launch Preparations
While the customer is assessing the final product design, there is some time to adjust all the details after product launch, including vector icons and pictures for a specific platform, colors, and fonts for different types, and sizes of screens. The designer should provide a customer with a mockup that includes all visual elements so developers can get familiar with these details fast. The communication with the customer is already over, and one thing left is to finalize all the small details.
Step #6: Enjoy the Final Results
The hardest work is already done. After all these steps, the designer can celebrate the final product launch with the customer.