The person who is ordering a website often wants comprehensive solution, preferably made by one person. However, in order to properly approach this topic, many factors must be considered. Do you know that you need a few specialists to enjoy a professional website? The design process may include, for example, UX designer (User Experience designer – a person whose task is to make the website intuitive for the user), UI designer (User Interface designer – a person who creates a graphic user interface), a graphic designer (will help to draw illustrations), photographer (thanks to him you will have unique photos), copywriter (he will write content that will encourage you to buy your products or services), SEO specialist (will take care of website positioning), developer (who is responsible for implementation). It is rare for one person to combine all these competences at the expert level.
In this article I will present roles and importance of UX designer, UI designer and graphic designer in the context of creating a website.
First of all, you should know what are the purpose and target groups of your website. At the beginning of the design process, the UX designer can create personas for you (describe its main users). Thanks to this, you (and the entire team) is able to understand better their needs.
Based on diagrams and sketches, the UX designer draws the processes to be reflected on the page. He will also perform a competition analysis. He will suggest intuitive solutions to many problems. It also verifies whether your ideas are accurate.
A specialist in this field can also conduct research on the needs of potential users using, for example, surveys, interviews, tools such as “card sorting”, or tests on a prototype not necessarily visually advanced but with a clickable design. Prototypes in paper form are good for quick testing of individual processes.
UX designer will also need information from you about the content of the website. They do not have to be 100% ready texts, but at least their general outline (including the amount of content on the page). On this basis, the designer is able to build a lo-fi mockup of the website that will be subject to evolution.
Website layout – UI, graphics
If you have an idea in mind, or even specific expectations, try to present them. For this purpose, use e.g. websites found on the Internet, even from a different industry. You can get inspired by them to create your own unique content. Tell the designer what you like about each page and what you don’t. If you have chosen the designer reliably, don’t worry about plagiarism – even if a given element is similar, it will certainly differ enough so that there is no doubt as to the rights to use it. In addition to specific examples, define generally what colors seem appropriate to you and try to identify the emotions you want the page to convey.
If you do not have an idea what style will be appropriate, the designer may propose you to create moodboards. These are boards with inspirations. The aim of them is to try to capture the impressions that the project is to provide, as well as to propose a theme, colors. The individual moodbord is one proposal for the style of the website. The client receives several proposals , so he has a chance to better specify what he likes and what he doesn’t.
On the basis of the collected information, the designer will create some (determine exactly how many) versions of the selected view (most often it is the home page). Only after it has been refined and the final version of the website’s style has been determined, the rest is rarely designer makes all views at once. Due to the necessity to apply any corrections to a larger number of materials – it would be associated with a greater amount of work, time and a final increase in costs. At this stage, it is good to provide the designer with polished content.
In the entire creation of the UI visual layer, the designer will be responsible for the appearance of individual elements, such as menu, buttons, text layout, colors. In creating illustrations or banners, he can be supported by a graphic designer.
If the graphics on the website will be based on photos – think about hiring a photographer. Thanks to this, you will have unique photos dedicated to your brand. It’s best to organize a photo session after you have finished your style. Of course, you can use existing photos, but it is much more efficient to build a website if the graphic artist has the opportunity to talk to the photographer. Then, they can agree the concept of individual photos together.
If you are sure that the website should be based on the photos you already have – provide them to the designer at the initial stage of the project. If you decide to take photos from stock e.g. Adobe Stock – the designer will first work on preview images in lower quality. Once you have made your final decision, then you should purchase the original photo with the appropriate license. There are also a lot of free image databases, such as unsplash.com. However, you have to bear in mind that many people and companies use them, and thus exactly the same photos you can find on many websites.
In the agreement with individual contractors, specify the number of corrections in the price, the way and form of handing over the work, e.g. file format. Also agree on the work schedule. At the beginning it is very important to clarify when the cooperation ends, e.g. whether the UX designer or graphic designer talks with developers during the implementation of a previously approved project.
A professional website combines intuitiveness of use and a visual effect that meets the needs of the target group. It is also the showcase of the brand. It is worth to realize this but be aware of the processes that are needed to create it. Of course, all of the above services generate costs. Therefore, you should consider whether the involvement of many people in the design process will pay off in the future.