Iterative design, weird name, right?  You may be thinking “what does that mean?”. According to “The Design of Sites”,  “iterative design addresses this problem [of the website] by calling for setting measurable goals and repeatedly refining and testing design prototypes with customers until the final design meets the goal”. Still, you may be thinking, this does not make any sense, so to simplify it further, it basically means, taking an existing design and editing it until the client likes it.

No design team is perfect, which means that nothing will be perfect from the beginning. The team needs to have room for error and must expect to have to edit significantly at some point. The Iterative design process has 3 steps: design, prototypes, and evaluate. The design team must consider goals, target audience, and customer needs before starting the creative process. In my previous Design of Sites post, I mentioned that you should create scenarios. This also applies to iterative design because it is easier to notice and correct any possible errors before you get too far into the project. Fixing problems in the early stages of the project can save you more money in the long run. If you are further along in the process, the more you have to go through to fix something and the more time and money you spend doing so.

Use rough mockups/prototypes to show the client what you are trying to achieve, then let them give you feedback on your design so you can fix it. From my limited experience, I find that using paper just to sketch out ideas, it becomes easier to create the design on the computer because you at least have an idea of what you want it to look like. Make sure that a site is useful and that it works. There’s no point of having a website if it doesn’t work. After you finish the website design, be sure to check every part of it before publishing/launching it. When I say every part of it, I mean EVERYTHING. Even the back button… you never know if there is an error message there. Errors can be in unexpected places, so don’t think to not look there.