In the Consultancy Phase or Step 1 of the seven website design steps (see previous post), all the information required by the design team to go on to the second step or Exploration Phase has been defined.

The Exploration Phase covers the creation and exploration of several prototypes reflecting ideas about the website structure and navigation.

Wireframes

Wireframes are created. The purpose of a wireframe is to lay out blocks on the web page without any information other than block name. Several layouts for each type of page will be created to be explored, e.g. home page, secondary page, contact page, etc.

Story Boards

The visitors’ journey will be explored with story boards, guiding the visitor to the desired action.

Initial colour palettes

Progressing through, several ideas about colours, imagery and typography will be explored, taking into account the company’s and/or product branding.

Information Architecture

Initial work on the information architecture, that is the overall organisation of the website content, will be carried out during the Exploration phase.  This covers the initial creation of the site map, publication of supporting information, banners, etc.

Testing

Quick tests can be carried out with target customers to ensure usefulness and usability.

Conclusion

By the end of this phase, you, the client, will have been presented with a number of designs or prototypes. One will be selected for further development. Sometimes the client may want to fund continued development of two sites for further refinement before making a final choice.

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