Start your Web Design with a Pen and Paper

Start your Web Design with a Pen and Paper

By Sadie on January 13, 2012

Start your Web Design with a Pen and Paper

Web Design starts offline

Website design is a process that changes dramatically from designer to designer but the best designs are born from an old-fashioned pen and paper starting point.

I started the design process as a graphic designer, this was taught to me very conceptually and a pen and paper was the first point of call. You may criticise this as obviously I would use paper to start as a majority of the time the end product was print, but the first stages of a design and development in web design are much faster when you play around on paper first.

Web designers have come from a number of different backgrounds, whether you went to university to study web design, computing, development, multimedia design or maybe you were self-taught or learned on the job? If you are a good web designer the way you got to that place doesn’t matter, it is how you will turn yourself into a great web designer and what approach you use. Our top tip to create amazing designs is to go back to old school design methods such as a pen and paper.


Make design mistakes faster

Using a pen (or pencil) and paper to sketch out initial wireframes, concepts and designs means you can look at what works and what doesn’t work much faster. You can brainstorm ideas using keywords that will be integrated into the content at a later time to make sure the design fits the content, this style of designing means you can create a really unique and bespoke website that reflects the brand, products and will convert.

Playing around with designs at this stage and brainstorming is a lot faster on paper than it is in photoshop, although you won’t get the finished design from a sketch you can save a lot of time with the creative idea behind the website concept by working it out before you have turned on your computer.


Designers should still know website development

I came out of university knowing a little Flash and HTML but nothing of CSS or any other programming language so my first website designs were very complex to develop and not user friendly. Simple things like font choice meant my approved design would cause headaches for the developers and the end product wouldn’t work well on a website, although could have created a lovely printed brochure.

I cringe when looking at my first designs for websites and can spot a website designed by a print designer a mile off, so although I think going back to the old fashioned ways of designing are a great start make sure you have a good understanding of the way websites work before starting your design, even learn a bit of coding.