Web Design

Web design is the foundation for a successful website build and we employ a structured process that considers aesthetics, user experience and SEO.

What is web design?

Web design, or website design, is the process by which a website is planned and designed before development takes place. Sometimes the term is used interchangeably with web development, but to be really accurate it refers to the work leading up to the day when the developer starts to build the site. If done thoroughly, the web design process will ensure that your website achieves your objectives and looks the way you want it to when it finally goes live.

In a lot of respects, it is like the planning stage or architect’s plans in a building project, you would never dream of letting the builders start work until you had signed off the plans for the new build on paper. Likewise, it would be foolish to rush in and start developing a website before you have gone through the web design process.

Why is web design important?

Website visitors are increasingly sophisticated when it comes to navigating websites and will quickly speak with their feet (or mouse) if they don’t like the way a website is designed. In order to create a successful web design, there are a few key considerations that should always be taken into account:

User Experience – Focusing on user experience, or UX design, at the outset will ensure that you don’t fall into the trap of having a site that puts design gimmicks over and above functionality. The sister of UX design is UI design, or user interface design, which looks at the detailed aspects of web page design and how the user interacts with them.

Search Engine Optimisation – These days it isn’t just website users that you need to consider when designing a site, as it is equally important to factor in search engine optimisation (SEO) to your planning process. Thinking through keywords and search terms at this stage will feed into the structure of the site and pay dividends when the site goes live.

Brand Integrity – Last, but by no means least, you need to consider your overall brand style and make sure that your website dovetails with other aspects of your marketing activity. Consistency is one of the most important elements of branding, and today’s consumers expect high standards of brand integrity if they are going to remain as loyal customers.

UI/UX website design and development
Web Design Process

Our web design process

Discovery Meeting 

Volume delivers web design in Manchester. The starting point of our process is almost always a discovery meeting involving our web team and key stakeholders from the client side. At this meeting we explore the brief and get under the skin of the client’s hopes and dreams for the website. We also unpick any problems or issues the client may have had with previous websites and CMS systems. It is at this stage that we would recommend UX/UI planning if the website is consumer facing and/or particularly high in visitor numbers. Depending on the target audience, it may be worth considering designing your website on a mobile-first basis, which means that we will consider the layout of the website on a mobile over and above the desktop or tablet design.

The Sitemap

From this point we are able to sketch out the sitemap using specialist software tools which enable changes to be made at speed. The sitemap is a way of planning out all pages on the website in a hierarchical way in order to ensure that the full structure of the site is thought through. This visualisation is one of the key foundations of web design and the resulting document is referred to frequently during the subsequent design and build process. Following sign off on the sitemap, we move on to the next phase which is the wireframes.

Wireframing & design concepts

What is Wireframing? – Website wireframing is a tried and tested process which allows us to mock up the layout of each page on the website, without the need for time consuming design work. It allows us to present a skeleton of the website’s layout and structure to the client before committing any time to development. This process is surprisingly effective at delivering a low fidelity representation of how the website will look and enabling the client to understand our vision for the website. The wireframes form the foundations for the website build and are a document that we constantly refer back to during the design process.

Website Design Concepts – Following sign off, we move on to the branded designs, using colour, fonts and imagery to bring the blueprint to life. This is usually the stage that clients enjoy the most, as they see the website taking shape and can start to visualise what the end product will look like. Unless there is a clear design route to follow, we would normally produce several different homepage design concepts for the client to choose from, before moving on to the pages for the rest of the site.

Website Page Designs – We don’t design every page on the website, but we do design every page that follows a different layout. We also create design layouts for the different views of the website across desktop, tablet and mobile devices to ensure it will work for responsive web design. Creating these designs in interactive software like Adobe XD allows us to produce a working prototype that the client can explore to ensure they are happy with the website from every angle. 


web design wireframing

Next Stage – Web Development

Once the page design are signed off, the project is handed over to our team of WordPress developers who will use the XD files to create the website as a perfect mirror of the signed off designs. You can find out about the website development process here.

Web Design FAQs

How long is the website design process?

The length of time it takes to design a website can vary depending on the complexity and size of the website together with the requirement for UX design. Another important factor is whether you have an established brand style that we can follow. However as a rule we would normally allow at least 4 weeks for this process.

Do you offer web design for new sections of an existing website?

Yes, we are happy to work on designs for existing websites and often do this for clients. This would involve working within your existing brand guidelines. When it comes to development we usually only work with WordPress websites, but for pure web design projects we can work on any type of website.


How do I ensure my website is mobile friendly?

It is important to consider how the website design will need to adapt to suit different devices such as mobiles. Not all desktop design elements will work for a mobile view and vice versa. We will identify the need for mobile specific design elements at an early stage in the design process.

How will I know I will like the website design?

Clients often worry about the design process as design is such a subjective experience, however we haven’t had someone who doesn’t like their web design yet! By starting with a broad mix of concepts and gradually narrowing it down in a systematic way, we are able to consistently deliver designs that our clients love.

Can you design a website that ranks well on Google?

Web design alone won’t make a website rank highly on search engines, but using keywords as a starting point at the very outset of the design process is the first step in the search engine process. Structuring the site so that your focus keywords take centre stage is the foundation of a search engine optimised website. 

It seems so complicated. How do I know where to start?

It can seem complicated, but we have been through this process with lots of different clients in a large variety of sectors and will guide your through it every step of the way. Although your product or service will have unique elements that we need to absorb, the underlying website design process is fundamentally the same for all websites.

Web Design Phases

Keyword Research

It is a good idea to start with looking at the keywords you would like to rank for.


We will get together to discuss the objectives for the website and get under the skin of your business.


A key part of the design process is creating low fidelity page layouts that explore every aspect of the website content.

Design Concepts

We create 2 or 3 different design concepts, based on your brand guidelines, that will showcase how your new website could look.

Page Designs

The selected design concept is applied to each unique page and the individual design elements for the user interface are created.

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