Websites have a lot more thinking, planning, designing, RE planning, and then RE designing ;) that goes into them than one may think.
For someone that has no idea how a website is designed, think of it as a school paper. I’m sure almost everyone has written at LEAST one paper in their academic years. What goes into that paper? Do you simply sit down, write the entire 10 page paper and instantly turn it in without so much as a proofread? I’d bet the answer is no for most of you.
A ten page paper requires planning. It starts with an idea or a topic. From there you begin to think of ideas or subcategories that you need to talk about in your paper. This is where paragraphs and eventually pages begin to be outlined.
Once you have those ideas and have them all written down, you can continue onto the next step. I mean, nobody would start writing a random paragraph for the middle of the essay without knowing what comes before and after it right? At least, I hope not.
Okay. So now that we have our outline, we mostly know what we want to talk about in our essay and can somewhat formulate the path from beginning to end.
You sit down and begin to write. Probably (hopefully) not all at once because, who wants to stare at a computer for hours trying to complete that 10 page paper in one sitting. Definitely not me. So, you work in chunks. Slowly, page one is done. Then suddenly page 5. And before some time, you have yourself a rough draft!
Done? Nope. Still working on it. Next comes the re-read. And then the revising. And then re-read again. And the cycle continues until you’re happy with the end result.
Now that I have THOROUGHLY (probably drawn out way longer than necessary) explained the process of writing a theoretical 10 page paper from the past, allow me to explain how this even remotely connects to websites.
A designer doesn’t just sit down and “go at” designing a site. There’s so much consideration and thought that is put into it - much like writing a paper.
Designers have to first organize all of the ideas, pages, features, and elements of a website as well as take into account target audience, branding, colors, visuals, and goals. This, is the outline.
Next up, the mockup. Or in essay terms, the rough draft. This is where the designer hashes out their ideas. Creating written content. Deciding what to put on each page. Placing elements on pages. And so on.
Just as in that imaginary paper, our process isn’t done here. When our mockup is done, now it’s revision time. Carefully going through and picking apart their design. Redesigning and redesigning and redesigning. Don’t get me wrong, I do love it, but it definitely is a process.
So, once that mockup is finalized. Now all the pieces can be put together into a final website. And voila. Just like that, a website is launched ;)