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Phase 3: Visual Design and Testing

The visual design, the look and feel, the graphic interface — it's the first experience the user has with the site. Even before users know if the site is easy to use, they see what it looks like. Designing the visual face of any site is exciting, and in Phase 3, designers finally get to be creative. At this stage, all design elements are created based on the established information design and the tone and goals set forth in the creative brief. The design is then approved, refined, and tested.

Production designers also start working during Phase 3. They begin to test functionality and assumptions. By developing a Protosite, they can confirm navigation and content organization.

Visual design and testing, whether through the development of a Protosite or through straight functionality testing, work toward the same goal on all sites — to create an overall interactive design that meets the needs of the user and that will smoothly translate to HTML.

Phase 3 is divided into three stages: CREATING, CONFIRMING, and HANDING OFF, each containing several steps. Phase 3 helps you stay on budget and on schedule while you design the visual face of your website.

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