The Design Process

There’s a limit to what we need to say here; when you buy a car, you expect the manperson-apple-laptop-notebookufacturer to tell you how the car will behave and what features it has but not how it was constructed and the same should be true of a website. (Though, if you buy a car from Rolls-Royce, the manufacturer will invite you to visit the factory in Crewe while the car is being constructed so that you can see it being built. This is relevant here because we regard ourselves as the Rolls-Royce of web designers).

Nevertheless, it will probably aid customer confidence if we say a little about the way we work. What we are aiming at in the design stage is a mockup – a visual representation of how the website will look when it’s finished. This – the time before the coding starts – is the last point at which changes can be made easily, so it’s worth looking at closely.

We use Photoshop a lot in the mockup, because it’s easy to play with and adjust and doesn’t make subsequent coding too difficult.

Something we haven’t talked about up to now is font choice and colour. These are elements that should be examined very closely at the design stage. A very large range of fonts is available and the public has become much more font-aware, simply because it sees so many more now than ten years ago. Look at the ones the designer is suggesting. Are you entirely happy with them?

One way to see what fonts can look like is to browse your local bookshop – you’ll see an amazing number of alternative fonts on display there. Always remember, though, that you want people reading what the text says more than you want them admiring the layout, so the best thing you can possibly say about the font is that it doesn’t get in the way of communication. What we’re really saying is: it’s possible to be altogether too clever and too fussy when choosing a font.