The Design

When someone hires me to make a site, they often expect a mockup right away. While it is possible to jump immediately into the design, I don’t recommend it. As Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra says, “To be prepared is half the victory.” Creating a website is more than just design–it’s about organizing your information, targeting your audience, communicating effectively, and being consistent with your brand identity.

I have written a series of articles outlining these steps. This is part 3 of the series.

Now that we have created a sitemap and wireframes, we are finally ready to apply design to our blueprint and foundation! We can focus on design knowing that everything else is taken care of and accounted for.

Kaira Ba Style Tile

An example of a style tile I made for a client

These days, I build most of my websites responsively. That means the website responds to any screen, ranging from a desktop monitor all the way down to a phone (want to see this in action? Just click and drag a corner of your browser and you’ll see how my website “responds”). In this case, mockups are quite misleading since they assume a snapshot of just one particular width, or resolution. Because of this, I often like to provide my clients with what I call style tiles. Style tiles reflect the design systems rather than a specific width snapshot. Style tiles include a color scheme, typography, image application, the home page hero, and navigation style.

There are times, however, when a mockup is needed to really get a feel for the site. In that case, I make one with the caveat that your website will not look exactly like the mockup.

Either way we go, I always ask for your feedback throughout the design process so that we come up with something you feel ownership over.

Once I receive client approval on the design, I’ll code out most, if not all, of the site into my preferred content management system, WordPress. There are usually a few rounds of revisions before I train you, give you an opportunity to add more content, try it out, and make sure everything is in order before we go live.

And there you have it! Your very own website built on a solid foundation.