Part 4: Visual Design Phase
Visual design, it’s the phase everyone loves, (see even this green gator is screaming in excitement. ((I guess you could say he can’t wait to sink his teeth into the process…)) (((Okay, I’m done))). There is good reason to have this be one of the more exciting phases of developing your website, the visual elements are the result of a lot of hard work through the first three information heavy phases. If the work has been done diligently up to this point, the visual design process should be fun for you and your team. There are going to be a few bumps in the road but if you’re working with a good agency they are going to work hard at seeing your vision through while providing you the best tools and structure the industry has to offer now. Let’s take a look at the elements involved:
A moodboard is exactly how it sounds: A board to capture the mood of the piece of collateral you are working on, in this case it’s you’re website. Most moodboards are going to be presented digitally these days which is a good thing. You will see color selections, font ideas and images that reflect the mood and tone you are trying to set with the website. You should note that these colors, font examples and images are not meant to be the exact reflection of content that will be designed into your site, they are presented to make sure you and your agency are on the same page when moving on to concepts. Interested in seeing some visual examples? Take a look at this article on moodboards by Inspiredolgy. I will say that a lot of these examples have more content than you will probably need but they are a great visual starting point to understand how to use moodboards within in the design and development process.
If moodboards were not exciting enough, now you get to see the actual concepts mocked up of what your website is going to look like. Depending on your budget and team you are working with, most agencies will present a few different concepts based off of the moodboards that were selected. You should anticipate seeing mockups that have the same structure as the wireframes you signed off on. Again, depending on the budget, you will see the main page design options mocked up for your approval before you move on to the next phase.
Next Up: The Build Phase