Our Web Design Process
Every web designer has a fairly similar process over the duration of your project. The process can be more detailed from one designer to another. Process keeps the project on-track, on-budget and makes sure that everyone is on the same page. If there was no process, a project would quickly go off the rails.
Here’s a high level overview of what to expect when you start a project with us.
Once you’ve paid your deposit, you’re ready to get started. The first thing we do is set up your project in Basecamp. Basecamp is the tool we use to collaborate with you during the project. It’s really easy to use and we promise you’ll find it awesome. No conversations get lost, all the documentation shared is in one place and you can see who’s responsible (and when) for every task.
2. Project Requirements
We’ve already had several conversations with you about your project. Based on those conversations, we provided you with a proposal. You have a good idea of how much the project is going to cost and we have a good understanding of what you need.
Included in the fees is time allocated towards planning out a set of requirements. Think of this step as the foundation for the rest of your project. If an objective gets missed here – it can lead to delays and even contribute to unexpected costs later on in the project.
This is an important step. So listen up y’all.
You’re responsible to supply us with your content. So, what is content? All the words and pictures you need for your website. We’ll make this as easy as we can by providing you with templates you can use as a guide, a dropbox to store your photos and some simple principles to guide you on how to write your copy.
Want us to make your life easier? We happen to know some kick-ass copywriters who will be more than happy to write that content for you. They’ll interview you, learn about your organization and it’ll be a seamless and pain-free experience. We promise. We can’t recommend the use of a good copywriter enough – it makes the web design & development process a positively joyful experience for everyone involved.
So, when do we need this content? The sooner the better. Preferably before we start designing. Content delays will impact the launch date of your website & can even impact the overall cost of the project.
You wouldn’t build a house without blueprints would you? Think of Wireframes as the blueprints for your website. Will every project have this step? Well, we’d prefer to answer that question with a big, fat, YES…. but in reality, budget constraints can push us to (reluctantly) skip this step.
A Wireframe clearly illustrates the page layouts and maps out where different calls-to-action, content sections, and functionality will ‘live’ on your website. We know you want your audience to have an easy time interacting with your website. This step ensures that happens.
Now we can dive into the fun part. This is where all the research we’ve done together will allow us to create how your website will look and feel. The visual layout of your website will begin to take shape. We typically go through a few revisions until we are all satisfied with the design.
If changes to the design are going to be made – this is where you want to make yourself heard. Asking for design changes later on in the process will add some additional fees to the overall project cost.
All the designs have been approved and everyone is happy. Now we can begin the development work. This is where we turn the approved creative into an interactive website. We always build using a Content Management System (CMS). We generally use WordPress for websites & Shopify for e-commerce websites.
7. Testing and Launch
Now we’re in our final stages of the project. The focus is on usability, functionality and the speed of the site. Once we’re satisfied that the website is in a good enough position to show you, we place it on a password-protected server so you can spend some time making sure that everything we’ve been working towards has become a reality.
It’s so important that you spend time going through every page of the website to make sure it meets your objectives. Your feedback is essential here. Look for broken links, missing content, buttons that don’t work, etc.
Once all the issues are taken care of, it’s time to flip the switch (ok, there’s no actual switch). Congratulations – you are the proud owner of a new website.
8. Support & Maintenance
Even though your website may be everything you hoped for when it goes live, there are always opportunities for improvements. Our support agreement extends to 30 days after your site is launched. During that time, we’ll repair any ‘bugs’ found & provide training.
After the 30 day warranty period–we’re more than happy to continue our collaboration. Your website will continue to need updates, new functionality, content changes, and more.
Your website should always be evolving. For some of our clients, we’re working on their 3rd and even 4th website. We hope you’ll want to stick with us for the long run.