With clients, we often go through a lengthy process involving multiple stages and several months to create the finished websites. The design phase is just one of those stages, but in itself has multiple parts. The very beginning of the design process involves what I call brainstorming. For me, brainstorming involves taking the information gleaned from the client in our introductory meeting, and using it to formulate ideas.
First comes research on the client’s industry to determine specific functionalities and inspirational aspects that will fuel the rest of the site design. Research and inspiration transitions naturally into sketching. Once those ideas start moving around in my head, I naturally want to see how they may look or interact with other possible elements and ideas.
Brainstorming is truly a “storm” of ideas and sketches and whatever else, but also of opinions and voices. It would not be complete nor thorough without the back-and-forth with other team members. And not just other designers, but developers, content writers or project managers too. It is always helpful to get as much feedback as possible because although one mind is driving the creative effort, the design is not meant for any singular person. Outside opinions and ideas give fresh perspectives to produce a well-rounded result.