The standard steps in the web design process:

Conceptualization and research

Content organization and creation

Art direction

Prototype building


Site launch


By now you are familiar with (X)HTML and CSS, but markup and visual design are only pieces of the whole web design process. In this chapter and the following, we’ll broaden the scope to consider the big picture of how sites get built and published to the Web.

Web sites come in all shapes and sizes—from a single page résumé  to mega-sites conducting business for worldwide corporations and everything in between. Regardless of the scale, the process for developing a site involves the same basic steps:

1. Conceptualize and research.

2. Create and organize content.

3. Develop the “look and feel.”

4. Produce a working prototype.

5. Test it.

6. Launch the site.

7. Maintain.

Of course, depending on the nature and scale of the site, these steps will vary in sequence, proportion, and number of people required, but in essence, they are the aspects of a typical journey in the creation of a site. This chapter examines each step of the web design process.

1. Conceptualize and Research

Every web site begins with an idea. It’s the result of someone wanting to get something online, be it for personal or commercial ends. This early phase is exciting. You start with the core idea (“photo album for my family,” “shopping site for skateboarding gear,” “online banking,” etc.) ...

Get Learning Web Design, 3rd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.