THE DESIGN PROCESS – Holly Foster Media


The Design Process is an approach for breaking down a large project into manageable chunks. Architects, engineers, scientists, and other thinkers use the design process to solve a variety of problems.

DiscoverDesign Handbook (n.d.)
DiscoverDesign Handbook (n.d.)

I recently used Chicago Architecture Center’s six step approach to continue my work on my client’s Art by Nature website. Here’s the lowdown on each of the six steps.

Step 1: Define the Problem

Two local artists need a website to market their unique reclaimed tree art.

Step 2: Collect Information

  • Identify any existing branding.
  • Photograph and assign a unique name to each piece in the current collection. Include dimensions, prices, and any other pertinent information in the documentation.
  • Document the history of how the business began and how the art is produced.
  • Inquire as to the artists’ professional credentials and experience.
  • Gather existing testimonials from past customers.

Step 3: Brainstorm and Analyze Ideas

Creating a mood board is a good place to start the brainstorming process. They “… serve as a visual tool to quickly inform others of the overall ‘feel’ (or ‘flow’) of an idea” (Mood board, 2019).

A web design mood board should include photos, fonts and an appropriate color palette. And remember, it may take a few tries to find a look and feel that satisfies your client.

For more detail, check out my blogs on the creation of Art by Nature’s mood board and color palette.

Step 4: Develop Solutions / Build a Model

Now it’s time to bring your ideas to life, but you still need a plan.

Many web development firms jump into the visual design before planning out how the site will actually work. They rush to create a layout before considering how target users will interact with it. This is unwise. Designing an effective website is a significant investment. Having to make changes after the fact can be more costly than doing some due diligence up front.

(Mrozek, 2019)

Planning should include a site map

and wireframes.

Step 5: Present your Ideas for Feedback

Present your ideas to as many people as possible: friends, teachers, professionals, and any others you trust to give insightful comments.

DiscoverDesign Handbook (n.d.)

Step 6: Improve Your Design

Based on the feedback you received in step five, makes changes. Unlike print work, it’s relatively easy to improve your content.

… web pages … can be changed in seconds — whether it’s correcting typos, upload[ing] better photos, [or] reorganiz[ing] page structure …

(Akselsen, 2019)

If you’d like to read the complete four part series, start with part one — Choose Your Colors.

until nxt time …


Akselsen, B. (2019, July 16). Announcements – ICM505DE_MED700114_19S2 Web Technologies. Retrieved from

DiscoverDesign Handbook. (n.d.). DiscoverDesign Handbook [Online image]. Retrieved from:

Mood board. (2019). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from

Mrozek, K. K. (2019, January 4). Why sitemaps & wireframes matter for web design. Retrieved from:

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