When we begin the process of designing (or re-designing) your website, the first step is to create a set of website mockups to lay out the look and feel of your site. These mockups are simply images we create that show what the website will look like without needing to dive straight into coding. These mockups are just flat images that cannot be interacted with, but look like a screenshot of a website page. We use these mockups as a way to communicate design ideas back and forth with our clients and also as a “blueprint” to develop the website once design is complete.
Why Not Just Start Coding the Website?
The process of laying out a mockup is much faster than coding a webpage. Creating this image mockup allows us to try out different design elements, layouts, colors, and fonts quickly so we can get a better idea of what design we want to go with before devoting to code. The designer has a chance to organize their thoughts so there is a clear-cut plan for the design and development of the website. The mockup can be easily shown to the client for feedback, and making changes are quick and easy if there are issues or something just doesn’t work. Client’s can also use mockups to show friends/family/colleagues their potential website for feedback before giving us the thumbs up on the design.
If we started out just coding a website without mockups, it would take a very long time before the client is able to see our vision. It would also be much more difficult to make changes to things like layout and colors once the site is already in the development stages. These image based mockups are crucial to the design process and save a lot of time in development, as well as the whole project in the long run.
Before any of this mockup designing starts, we will go over a period of client discovery with you. During this client discovery process, we will ask you about what you like and don’t like about websites and design in general. The most important piece of design information you can provide us is your logo (if you already have one). Your logo is the already complete brand identity and we want to make your site match that. If your site doesn’t match your logo, it will look inconsistent and uncoordinated, which reflects on the way your site visitors will react to your website and business as a whole.
We also like to ask clients to find 2-3 examples of websites that they do like the design of, and 2-3 websites that they don’t like at all. We will also ask questions about your business/company like: Who is your target demographic? What is your main service that your website needs to promote? And so forth. With this information we will work to design a website that is catered to your customers and what they want to see – all in the pursuit of more traffic and business for you!
What You Can Do During the Mockup Process
Client’s have responsibilities in the web design process too! During the mockup process, we may take some time to send over a complete mockup for review. Feel free to use this time to gather any other info or assets we will need to put on your site. This is the perfect time to get professional photographs taken, write out the content for your website’s informational pages, or hammer out any details with your team about hosting, domain registration, etc.