Full Custom Web Design
This is part two of a five part series exploring different approaches to custom web design. In this part we’re going to explore the full custom approach.
A Full Custom Web Design
This is “the works.” A full custom web design is necessary when all aspects of the site need to be considered. These projects can range from high traffic sites where every conversion is measured and quantified to a site that was built quickly that needs a fresher, well thought out approach. Often these are brand-recognizable properties, either world-wide or within their respective fields. On the other hand, sometimes a project requires a custom web design to match the uniqueness of the concept.
Carefully Consider Time
A full design should not be taken lightly – they are time and energy intensive. If you are planning a project like this give yourself a year’s headstart. That will give you time to find the right development agency and give the right firm enough time to build. And you’ll likely want an agency over a freelancer for a project of this size. It’s better to have multiple resources to develop, troubleshoot, and test. All project timelines vary, but we typically see project like this take four to six months to develop.
Planning and Process Are Key
With a custom web design project like this, pre-planning is necessary. Carefully walking through a successive set of steps and staying organized is the difference between a job done well and on time, and a nightmare that goes over time/budget. We’ll take the time to establish goals for the site, review analytics and usage, and develop a strategy all before we even begin the design process. We assess current pain-points for users and managers so that we can solve them on the next site iteration.
Next we’ll go through a full set of wireframes to prototype and troubleshoot the UX of the site. With larger sites, if you create designs without preceding wireframes, often UX issues get conflated with UI issues. And trying to solve a UI issue that is truly a UX issue can waste time and may not actually address the underlying UX problem.
We answer as many questions, and solve as many issues as we can without even considering colorways or font sets. With those questions answered and a game plan in place, we begin actually designing templates for each of the layouts in the site. We get to review each phase of the designs with the client, iterate, and improve until all parties are happy with the results.
Once the designs are completed and approved, we move on to the development phase! During development, we convert all the designs into functional pages. A thorough testing cycle for every page is completed by us, the clients, and sometimes independent sources. After the development and testing phases are complete, we launch the site into the world.
Especially relevant examples of sites we’ve built with this design approach are The Dallas Mavericks and JWC Environmental. Both sites are for large companies with high traffic. All the major goals for the site are regularly measured, tested, and improved upon.