The Web design process is essential to delivering a web product that will meet the intended goals of our client. Our process helps segment the web project into phases allowing us and our client to thoughtfully and strategically comprehend the design & development direction ensuring the intended goals are met and exceeded.
We start by familiarizing ourselves with the company or organization including their history, environment, target audience, current audience, value proposition, future vision, etc. After learning as much as we can about the client we listen to what their goals for the website are, what functionality or customer value are they looking to add. At this stage, we offer suggestions and consult the client on how to best achieve those goals through a digital platform. We will also identify and analyze competitors in the space to learn what could be working, what is not working, and identify why. This also helps us better strategize a solution for our clients.
By creating a well-defined project scope plan that outlines specific activities and deliverables, along with specific timelines, we’re able to clearly set expectations for our clients. We’re also able to allow a final Q&A with our client prior to engaging the contract to ensure all requested items are acknowledged and agreed upon. A clear scope ensures that we have an enjoyable collaboration throughout the project lifecycle.
Site architecture includes the sitemap and wireframes of pages. Creating the sitemap ensures that we’ve considered all the key pages in the site, showing their relationship to each other and defining how the sites overall navigation should be structured. Wireframes provide a detailed view of the content that will appear on each page. Although they do not show any actual design elements, the wireframes provide a guide for defining content hierarchy on the page.
This phase is often optional depending on the needs of the client. Most of our clients came to us because they were looking to upgrade their current site design and performance or add special functionality but were satisfied with the current copywriting. In the cases where there is a need to update the content, we will typically assist in hiring a freelance copywriter that has a unique style catering to the client’s market sector. Internally we help develop engaging and creative taglines or headlines. We also analyze the current use of photography on the website and identify other unique options that will fit better with the new design or branding direction. Photography is typically outsourced from professional photographers or purchased through stock photo platforms.
Now that we have flushed out the strategic ideation of the website and identified the architecture, flow, and content we can now begin to design the mood board and templates. In this phase, we begin introducing visual design elements such as color, typography, graphic styling, etc. An integral part of this stage is also developing what will become the global styles for development such as headline, title, image, button, and link styles. As in every stage the client is engaged in providing feedback to us and collaborating on solutions.
Now that we have all the pieces of the puzzle and a clear manual for building we begin the development phase. Typically the intended web platform is chosen in the project scope phase. In this phase, we focus on developing an optimized website that’s up to the latest web standards. We ensure that proper “H” tags are used with titles for better SEO and also prepare a backend that is easily managed. We look for opportunities to make content dynamic for easy updating and consistency. We also look for opportunities to take advantage of the latest software to keep our client’s web product on the cutting edge of available technology. At this stage, we also focus on responsive development in tandem with desktop development ensuring that the website performs well and also looks good on multiple devices and browsers.
We do extensive internal testing of the website at this phase. We also provide the client with a development link to encourage them to also test and proof the site. At this phase, we test all the functionality to ensure it’s functioning properly. We’re also testing the site on multiple browsers and devices to check for consistency. Browsers read code slightly different at times and our job is to ensure we add the specialty code when necessary. We’re also beginning to look at speed optimization at this phase from a content perspective, often speed can be improved once launched on the live server. At this phase, we also look for any broken links, spelling errors, and last minute design tweaks.
Now it’s time to share it with the world! Now that the testing is complete and our clients have approved the final draft it’s time to publish the site. We will advise our clients on selecting the proper hosting solution for their website needs. Once hosting is selected we carefully migrate the website from our development server to the clients hosting account. If the client intends on maintaining the site on their own then we provide a one-hour video training of the backend. The video session is recorded for the clients’ documentation and resource. We also offer 30-day tech support.