How I Work on a Web Design Project: My Design Process

It usually goes like this:
A prospective client finds my portfolio. 
I receive an email from them that usually looks like this: 

‘Hey Madalin, love your work. I need a new website for my business, could you give me a price and timeline for that?’

I reply (usually I send an email back in less than 2 hours).

After the initial talk (be it a Skype/Whatsapp call, a zoom meeting or a series of emails), I send them a web design brief for them to fill out, in order to find out more about their brand, ascertain what type of website design they need (e-commerce, blog, basic presentation website, interactive experience) and understand their expectations and the goals that need to be met in order for the project to be considered successful. 

To save time, money and make the process go smooth, this is a must-know for me before I even start wireframing the website:

  • Website topic and purpose;
  • Site structure;
  • Target audience;
  • Budget - being open about what your budget is makes it easier to quote because it can give me an idea of what elements I can include for that price (custom icons & illustrations) or save us both time in immediately seeing that we’re not a fit for the project;
  • What services/products they offer (and how their customers benefit from them);
  • Websites they like and why (competitor websites);
  • Websites they dislike and why;
  • Does their brand use a specific color palette? Are there any design elements associated with their company? (fonts, icons, images)
  • Content written for all pages (this doesn’t need to happen prior to the project starting, but this typically where projects get held up)
  • Design tool they prefer me using (I work in Sketch, Figma or XD).

To secure the project, I usually ask for 30-50% deposit. I consider this financial commitment motivates my client to see the project through to completion. Plus, it’s a standard practice.

I then start designing and I usually send the first draft (be it a high-fidelity wireframe, or a high-fidelity design) in 1-2 days. To make the feedback go faster, I upload my designs in the InVision app, so my client can offer feedback by just clicking and commenting on that specific section in the design I proposed.

As a disclaimer: I do all the work, that means I don’t subcontract projects (or any parts of it) to someone else. And I do all the work from scratch - that means I never use any templates, every design I make is custom-tailored for each of my clients.

A typical full website design project (without Webflow development) takes 2-3 weeks. If my client wants implementation, the project will take around 5 weeks. 

Every design I deliver includes the mobile version - and, if the client requires it, the tablet version. I offer unlimited revisions - that means I don’t settle on a version until my client is happy with it.

Before I send them the final design files, I run through a checklist to make sure my deliverables will allow a smooth, fast-flowing development. That means I make sure the final files I send contain:

  • Sitemap
  • Style guide (font sizes, colors in hexadecimal format, hover and active states, buttons and form elements)
  • Font files
  • Imagery
  • Icons & illustrations exported in .svg/.png format
  • All mockups in desktop/mobile/tablet size

If you think we’re a good fit and want to work together, drop me a line.

Let's work together

Do you want a website that your audience will love, care about and return to -- with money to spend?