In the early days of website design a graphic designer would design the site and a website developer would build it. These days the designer and developer are often one and the same and the process for the website client can feel a slightly different experience.
The majority of my sites are built in WordPress and are designed as I go. This helps me check responsive settings for mobiles and tablets as I go along.
When I start a project I’ll ask clients to send links to sites they like with what they do and don’t like about them. this gives me an idea of the style elements they’re looking for. How their site looks when finished will incorporate the key elements they like but also depends on the content they provide. For example if they like full screen, Hero images then they need to provide hi-res images for me to work with.
When starting larger websites I can often be found with a pencil and paper sketching where everything will go. This is less to do with design and more to do with the architecture of the site – how each page and call to action relates to each other and where it goes on the site. These pencil and paper documents are usually just page titles and elements with arrows linking them and a few notes. I then sit down with these notes next to me and start to build pages, using containers for different sections. Once these are in place I start the design work – this is where the fun really begins.
I keep notes of Hex codes and other references on the Notepad, Stickies and Trello apps on my MacBook. This makes it easy to copy and paste content into sites and means I always know where to find them.