Critical Analysis

Critical Analysis 3: Web Design Process

Write one short summary of the Web Design Process

The professional design process – and the team roles involved – is often broken up into a series of stages. At times a subconscious method, these steps are essential to any medium. While no one person lists each phase exactly the same, there is often repetition in the concepts and goals surrounding them. In the article “The 4 Steps of the Creative Process”, Charlie Gilkey explains, “The creative process begins with work and ends with work” and lists the four steps: preparation, incubation, illumination, and implementation (Gilkey). Django Star shares his rundown of the process in his article “User Interface Development Flow. 8-step Process”:
brainstorming and sketching, user flow diagram, structure and flow validation, interface style, style validation, preview form, and design validation.

Gilkey describes the preparation step as “going through relatively mundane processes” that serve as a type of warm-up exercise (Gilkey). There is a common misconception that creative people are always buzzing with inspiration and jump from project to project; this stems from the assumption that our work is in fact not work at all, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. The incubation of an idea is the conscious and subconscious working in unison, “making new connections, separating out unnecessary ideas, and grabbing for other ideas” (Gilkey); it’s essentially the brainstorming portion of the creative process, as listed in Django’s article. Illumination is known as the “creative urge” and “driving impulse” that causes creators to feverishly expel the idea out of our brains as quickly as possible (Gilkey). Implementation is not only the phase in which the idea is brought to life, but also when “a good creative starts to evaluate the idea and determine whether it’s good or not” – finally having a subject to assess (Gilkey). This can be compared to Django’s explanation of the validation phases and the user flow diagram, which focuses on evaluating user interaction and experience. In their model of the creative process, the Dubberly Design Office emphasizes that the process is cyclical.

A recurrent step by step process is crucial to creative design, the editorial phases just as important as the initial eureka moments. In reviewing the various roles involved, I realized I prefer to stay in the role of art director. The other team positions offer little to intrigue my personal interests; I’ve always preferred to stay in the visually artistic aspects of projects – I’m a
creature of aesthetics through and through.

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