Designing is a complex process; there is no way to explain it in a simple term. It always involves various aspects such as business requirements, technology, skills, and knowledge.
Therefore, listen to your Project's brief is the important part, to understand your objectives, your organization brand concept, who are the audiences, your budget, and the competitors as well. I always prefer to break down the process into phases as a small project rather than one big project. A project with an agile method can adopt new ideas and request for changes at any state of the design process.
While working on a website project, the main challenge is how to ensure that all stakeholders in the team are on the same page at any phase of the design process.
The key point for website design is a Landing Page. If you read a book, you will most likely start reading from page one. Page one is your landing page. However, if you read magazine sometimes, you read from any page inside those pages. A magazine has more than one landing page.
On Internet, each page of a website is a landing page. The first-time visitor may browse your product page first instead of your Homepage.
In this situation, a product page is a starting point of your content flow sequences. This is why in web content structure design you should always consider a multi-directional navigation instead of one navigation from the Homepage.
Nowadays, most of the peoples are browsing the Internet from their mobile phone. The mobile phenomenon also changed how we structure the web page layout; the design becomes more clean and straightforward.
The main thing in page layout is the user interface such as main navigation menu. Each page design should have a consistent user interface, easy to understand for a short period of user's eyes scanning. Avoid the ambiguities of too many menu items and hyperlinks on your page. Your navigation menu, content title, and keywords within your content are the essential components for search engines indexing.
Your website is your online presence, visually represents your organization brand. In general, most companies have their marketing collateral ready as a guideline for company branding. Web Designer will translate that brand philosophy as a Style of your site.
However, if you don't have your brand guideline yet; such as logo, corporate identity material, slogans or other marketing collaterals, you have to work first with Graphic Designer or Marketing Consultant to prepare them for you.