Harding Web Design Process Home

There are many Web design processes used by companies and individuals across the industry. This Harding Web design and development process is a composite of components from many of the other process lists.

Six Process Steps

The six process steps in the Harding Web design process corresponds to the phases in a Website design project.

Specific Documents and Deliverables

In each phase or process step there are accepted documents that are produced to achieve certain tasks, show project progress to the client, and help the design team move forward

Examples and/or Templates

With each step in the process examples and templates will be provided to make the tasks clearer.

Planning / Strategy (1)

Planning / Strategy

The first phase in the Web design and development process is planning and strategy. This starting phase includes important work such as research, project planning, and strategy.


At the start of any Website project the Web designer and/or information architect need to conduct research in two areas.

Site Objectives

What the client wants the Website to accomplish (Goals, Brand, Measures of success)

User Needs

    What likely users will want need or expect in such a Web site. Uncovered using tools such as the following...
  • User Segmentation
  • Demographics
  • Psychological Profiles
  • Task Analysis
  • User Testing
  • Card Sorting
  • Creating Personas
  • Scenarios)

Project Planning

Creating a Project Plan

The project plan is a document listing all the tasks needed to create the Website, a calendar of when tasks need to take place, and the team members needed to do the tasks.

Work Breakdown Structure(WBS)

Previous Project Templates

Start and End Dates


Defining and Setting the Scope

The scope is the definition of the expectations and limitations of the Website project. Examining the needs of the situation, budget, and timeframe. This includes requirements, content requirements/management, functionality, and prioritizing requirements.

Recruiting a Team and Resources


Strategy Brief

Project Plan

Contract or Statement of Work

Functional Specifications Document

Design (2)


The second phase in the Harding Web design and development process involves all aspects of design. These design processes may be able to run concurrently.

Establishing the Conceptional Structure

Information Architecture (Structure,Organizing principles, Language)

Interaction Design (Conceptual models,Conventions, Error handling)

Blueprint Flow (Architecture) Diagram

Defining How Content will be Accessed

Interface Design (How users access/interact with content.)

Navigation (Ways of getting around the site.)

Information Design (Visualizing, Grouping, Arranging)


Standardizing the Site Format Standards

Visual Design (Colors, Fonts, Layout)

Visually Directing the User

Design Comp (Brief) Document

Style Guide

Determine/Create Content

Consulting with Stakeholders

Collecting/Researching Content Sources

(Document Review, Interviews, Task Analysis)

Organizing Content into Categories (IA)

Writing/Editing Web-ready Content

Copyediting and Proofreading

Integrate Content into CMS

Scripts or Storyboards or Content Chunks



Flow Diagram


Design Comp (Brief) Document

Style Guide

Scripts or Storyboards or Content Chunks

Testing the Design (3)

Testing the Design

The third phase in the Harding Web design and development process occurs after the initial designs have been selected. Before investing the time and effort to build the Website it is essential to test the effectiveness of the designs.

Test Designs

Building and Testing Prototypes

User Test the Navigation and Interface

User Test the Overall Functionality

Make revisons


A Working Prototype Website

User Testing Protocols and Feedback Forms

Completed and Compiled User Test Reports

Develop / Build Out (4)

Develop / Build Out

The fourth phase in the Harding Web design and development process is the heaviest portion of the work. The Web design team must shift into high production to complete all the pages and sections of the Website.

Create Templates

Finalize Stylesheets

Adjust Assignments of Tasks and Deadlines

Establish Building Protocols and Processes

Complete Prototype Sections and Start on New Sections

Build All Pages and Pieces

Testing and Revisions (5)

Testing and Revisions

The fifth phase in the Harding Web design and development process comes after the Website is nearly complete. This step is the final round of checks to ensure that no errors get through to users and that the Website works well on all major platforms and browsers and in all its tasks.

System Testing

Testing on Major Platforms

Testing in Major Browsers

Testing in the event of Heavy User Traffic or Slow Connectioins

Quality Assessment

User Testing





User Testing Protocols and Feedback Forms

Completed and Compiled User Test Reports

Revision(or Bug)Tracking Tools, Documents, or Databases

Launch (6)


The sixth phase in the Harding Web design and development process takes the final steps to make the finished product accessible to users and all the necessary support materials available to the client.

Add or Switch Server Locations or Links to go "Live"

Submit URL Information to Directories & Search Engines

Deliver Project Files to the Client

Create aand Deliver Documentation

Client Walkthrough / Training

Sign Off on Contracts

Lessons Learned



Client Training Materials

Lessons Learned Documents or Database Entries