Website design begins like all of our design processes, with research. Before even starting any aspect of the design, we strive to understand the brand and its purpose. This is even more important if we have not done any brand design or logo work prior to the web design.
After some background research, we again have an in-depth brainstorming session discussing the functionality of the site, the user interface, goals and purpose of the site, and design esthetics. At this point, we also request access to branding collateral (ie: brand guide, high-res logo files, font files).
Designers typically do a few sketches on paper for their own purposes, but finalize these as digital wireframes in Balsamiq. Clients are provided with 2-5 wireframe options depending on the amount of functionality necessary in the site. Color schemes are typically discussed in this step.
Once approved, the design is taken into Photoshop where the home page is built to include images, color and to create the finalized look of the website. Once completed, the design is sent to the client for approval and any changes necessary are made. Once the home page is finalized, sub pages are created in reference to the home page design.
The files are then coded and before the site goes live, the client gets a chance to experience the functionality and make any last minute changes to the design.