"Total web design" as proposed by Google has been mentioned more and more recently. For designers and developers, it's not as rough and simple as it might seem.
To explain in the simplest way, the so-called overall web design is to examine the entire project as a whole, to look at and deal with, to deeply understand and gain insight into the relationship between each link in the whole, and to control the whole process. No amount of content can stand out if the visual design is not ideal, they should all be one. Likewise, if the most visually designed web page in the world lacks usability, it will also struggle to gain a b2b data foothold in front of users. These are common problems that arise without a holistic web design approach, and are the ones that most web design projects need to address.
Here's how Holistic Web Design works:
1. Overall design concept
At the heart of overall web design is the design process. While advancing a project with a holistic web design approach, the execution process for the design and development teams may be very different than before, but there are many commonalities in content and detail.
From a designer's perspective, design, technology, performance, and business impact are the main influencing factors. Phases such as planning and research are usually carried out by other people, but if the project is in charge of one person, then usually the designer has to do it alone. These links can continue to be broken down: content and information communication, UI design, UX design, visual design, testing, training and feedback, etc.
All of these steps look different, and execution depends on who is planning. WebdesignerDepot once produced a with detailed considerations. There are six of them, and it's best to ask yourself these six questions before you make any decision.
In the design and development process of web pages, the cause and effect relationship is usually very clear. Every decision you make affects your users, yourself, your colleagues or employees, your shareholders, and others you haven't even considered. Ultimately the entire product will work on your life, for better or worse.
2. Planning and research
During the planning and research phase of a web design project, you should do three things:
Determine the goals of the project
Define the scope of the project
Define audience and target user personas
These elements will determine how the various aspects of the project fit together, and determine how the various parts will move forward. If the components in the project are not on target or out of scope, then they need to be readjusted or evaluated.
The design phase is usually the most interesting part of the entire design project, where the designer outlines the frame through wireframes, fills in the content, and finally defines the visual effects, slowly unifying the content and vision into one system.
During this process, the designer's tasks include:
Create sitemaps and wireframes (based on project scoping)
Create and collect all content including images, text, videos and animations
Create visual elements, from mood boards to color schemes and more
Design clear layouts, hierarchies, and efficient information architecture
Fourth, technology and performance
The most important functions of a website are closely related to technology, and its limits are also related to technology. Can the function of the website you design be finally realized? Can users fully understand these features and be able to use them correctly?
As for the technical issues that affect the opening speed and performance of the website, you can list a long list. If you want to achieve the effect you plan, you may need to integrate and then integrate. As a rule of thumb, websites need to truly serve the website owners (collect the right data in a way they understand) and users (the website must be fast and easy to understand and use).
When it comes to performance, there is no way around the problem of search. Since the way users obtain information is usually closely related to search engines, the traffic of most websites is inseparable from the assistance of search engines. In the process of design and development, the SEO strategy must be incorporated into the entire process, and its existence must be considered at the very beginning.
In this way, you are required to weigh which tools and services are used for development and which technologies or plug-ins are used in the construction process of the CMS system according to the goals and scope of the project. In short, you need to understand that there is never a one-size-fits-all solution to technical and performance-related problems, and flexibility is essential.
V. Business Impact
When you have a perfect design, your work is not done. A good website project is strategically focused on not only design and functionality, but also helping the company and team achieve business goals. That's why the website should be considered part of the overall product strategy in the first place.
How does website design affect your entire business? Does it help people find useful information and learn about the company? Does it involve sales or e-commerce?
In addition to this, there is also the question to consider: who is using or maintaining it on the other side of the client? What feedback, investment notes, or analytical charts are there that show that the current project is viable, or even successful?