Typically, the design is classified as either template or custom. In short, a template site is much more basic design-wise, possessing clean lines, a color palette that aligns well with the client’s existing logo, and other sleek, simple design elements. A custom site, on the other hand, is much more unique to the particular client and requires a much more involved process.
Template sites consist of two major stages: research and the styled mock-up. Custom sites consist of four major stages: research, the design call, the moodboard and wireframe, and the styled mock-up.
After the onboarding call, the assigned designer continues researching the client’s business and competitors. For custom sites, the next step is to set up the design call. This call allows the designer to get a better feel for what overall image the client would like to reflect with their new website as well as design elements that they like and dislike. We’ll then conduct extensive research on your business and competitors, gathering inspiration and preparing all the resources necessary to continue with your site’s design while keeping the key objectives and market research in mind.
The next step with a custom site is the mood board and wireframe set. A mood board is a static image that contains a proposal of the primary graphic elements to be used on the client’s new website. This includes the company logo, the chosen color palette of between 5 and 8 hues, inspirational images, dividers, and proposed textures. The mood board easily demonstrates the graphic direction intended for the website, facilitating visualization and confirming key aspects of the design.
Accompanying the mood board is the wireframe mockup, a static black and white image containing placeholder text and images to symbolize the homepage layout. The wireframe serves as a proposal of the structure and organization of the offerings. It works to highlight elements that will guide users to find what they’re looking for and through the booking process. Once the client approves the mood board and wireframe, the design process continues.
Next, for both custom and template sites, comes the styled mock-up. A template site typically goes from onboarding to research to styled mock-up, skipping the design call, the moodboard, and wireframe. The styled mock-up is a static image of how the homepage looks on the computer when the site is live. It’s a blend between the mood board and the wireframe, as it features the proposed organization of the page, the main navigation, colors, fonts, buttons, photos, and other graphic materials. This gives the client an idea of the overall design that will appear throughout the site. After the client provides concrete feedback on this resource, we then have a clear direction with which to proceed, design-wise.