Website Design Process Overview
Over the years, we have developed a purposeful and effective approach to building high quality websites based on our extensive experience client projects and our own. While no website project is ever exactly the same, these basic procedures give us a solid road map for your website’s development. We divide each project into these phases:
- Sketch & Visualize
- Test & Analyze
Phase 1 – The Introduction
Hi, nice to meet you! So you’ve submitted a website project planner and your project is being reviewed by our staff. Once we have reviewed it (typically within 3 business days) we’ll probably ask you a few questions to better understand your goals and business needs so we can then whip up a project proposal for you.
We offer up to 1 hour of pre-contract communications and consulting for us to evaluate your project with you. Time spent after that will be considered billable.
Phase 2 – Proposal and Cost Estimates
Once we have produced our estimate from your project planner you now have all the information you need to make an informed decision whether or not we are a good fit for your project. If you feel our proposal doesn’t meet your requirements you are free to walk away with no obligation. Estimates are always free of charge when you complete a project planner.
Phase 3 – Contract and Project Terms
Once you approve our proposal or estimate, we’ll draft the project contract and send it your way to make it official. After we’ve received the signed contract and the initial deposit (usually 50% of the project’s estimated cost), we begin the process of designing and building your new website. At this time, we’ll grant you access to our project management system where you’ll be able to follow the progress of your website every step of the way, discuss ideas, send new material and catch up if you’ve been out of the loop.
Phase 4 – Project Organization, and Defining the Project
In this step, we’ll create and provide you with a scoping document (or project plan) to outline our responsibilities and required deliverables during the course of the project. You’ll need to approve the scoping document to indicate we are on the same page before we move onto the next step. Also in this step we will create your site map to outline all the pages required. This is just a visual way to see how all the pages of your site are related and interact with each other.
We’ll work with you to gather and organize your sites content that will ultimately populate your new website. We will need you to provide us with digital copies of your text, images, videos, etc to avoid the costs of us digitizing/scanning images or retyping your sites text.
Finalizing the content in this step allows the design process to go much smoother because we already know what we are designing for and what we need to account for when laying out the page structure and navigation.
Phase 5 – Sketch & Visualize
We will begin to brainstorm to throw all our ideas for the project out on the table to discover the best way to approach your website. Afterwards, we will take the best ideas we came up with in our brainstorming sessions and create wire frames, or gray box versions of your site layout. This will basically be a blueprint for the website so you can see early on what the website will be when all is said and done. We will go over the wire frames with you and once we agree we’ll begin to create the visual design.
Phase 6 – Visual Design
Now comes the fun part: after all of our planning and organizing, we get to bring our ideas to life. Drawing from our inspiration and visualization in the previous phase, and keeping the project goals we set in mind, we’ll craft some pixel perfect goodness and present you with what we’ve created. Once you’ve reviewed it, we’ll polish and tweak the design based on your feedback to get it just right.
Phase 7 – Integration, Programming & QA
Once the visual design has been finalized and approved we will slice it up and the production/coding phase will begin. At this point you can just sit back while we get to work on the coding and programming of your website. We will throw down a killer layer of bullet proof code that, when viewed in any modern browser, displays a beautiful and superbly-functioning website.
Also in this phase we will be infusing the website with all the content you have gathered, modified and finalized in the beginning phases of your project. After all, we know you finished it because you are great at completing homework assignments right? This is the single most common reason websites don’t launch when we planned. So having completed content is vital to completed a website on time.
We’ll keep in close contact with you via our project management system during this stage–providing you with updates, asking you questions, and perhaps even giving you occasional sneak peaks at how things are coming along.
Phase 8 – Test, & analyze
Once we’ve completed the coding of your website and our internal quality checks have been finished, now it’s time for the website to be tested by you, our incredibly happy client. Once you’ve done your testing and we’ve made any final tweaks, you just got to give us the thumbs up and we’ll start the launch countdown!
Phase 9 – Launch!
Finally! The moment every site owner LOVES! After receiving final payment for your website project, we launch your site!
Phase 10 – Promotion & Maintenance
Now that your site is launched and live doesn’t mean we’re done – we’ve only just begun actually. Now we have to keep your site looking awesome and it’s content fresh and up to date. We also have to promote the site and market it to the search engines not to mention get it in front of your target audience so that it’s a success. This process, when executed online, is called search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) and we have the know how and skills to help you with that too.