This guide is to let you, our client, know what we’ll be doing for you at each step along the way. Initially you will have been communicating with the Project and Account Manager who will have presented you with a proposal or specification document for your design project. This proposal document will outline the lay out of your site, the content to be included, how the site is to be maintained, options for promotion, copy requirements, a time schedule, a break down of the costing and Web hosting options. Some proposal / specification documents may also detail technical and functional components.
The below information helps you to understand the different stages of the schedule listed in the proposal document, to enable the process to run as smoothly as possible. If you feel that the schedule set is too constricting then speak to the Project and Account Manager who can adjust the time lines to suit you in advance of the project starting.
(1) Gather the Copy / Design Questionnaire
The proposal document will list all the content and photography required for your site development. If required we can help by providing graphic images from image libraries, and provide the services of a copy writer at an hourly rate.However we advise that you write your own content to reflect your brand, and knowledge of your product. We also ask you to fill in a design questionnaire. This asks a number of questions to help our Designers get a feel for your design preferences. At this time it is useful if you supply us with as much information regarding your company and branding as possible, this may include leaflets, brochures or business cards.
We ask that all this information is sent to us by the copy deadline and in time for the design call. This will enable to the Designer allocated to your project to have as much background information regarding the project as possible, so that he is best equipped to understand your needs and reflect you’re your brand in the right site look and feel. We are reluctant to commence the project without this information, as we feel that it is not possible to get a clear understanding of your business and desired look.
We will schedule a Designer to work on your project in line with the schedule outlined in the proposal. If for any reason you believe that you are not able to supply copy on time then please advise so that we can reschedule your project.
(2) Design Meeting / Call
Our Graphic Designer will make contact to introduce themselves. While we’ve normally already asked you some questions about the design during the proposal / specification phase, we find that it’s beneficial for the Designer working on the project to talk with you directly regarding your preferences for the site look and feel. This will include a discussion on the selections you made in the design questionnaire, other sites that you like the look and feel of, as well as a general discussion about your positioning, branding and values. You will be working directly with the Designer all the way from initial design to final implementation of the site.
(3) Concept Designs
Once we’ve prepared some design concepts for the look of the home page and section pages of the site we’ll upload them to our online clients preview folder for you to see. The design concepts are not working Web pages but are graphical layouts, this means that it looks like a web page but none of the links work and the text is not correct. Our Designer will talk these through with you to see what your design preferences are. We’ll keep working on the Concept Designs until you’re happy with them. It is important that you are happy with the general spatial layout, colours and navigation positioning at this stage as it is difficult to change these aspects later in the process. The schedule outlines the date the Designer will have the concept completed, please can you make sure that you are contactable and able to give feed back or approval within the scheduled times. That way we can make sure that your project is completed as quickly as possible within the target time frame.
(4) Prototype Designs
Once you’ve approved the Concept Designs we’ll go ahead and build the site as working Web pages using those graphical designs you’ve approved. You probably won’t hear too much from us while this happen although if there are any text or additional photographs we will be in touch.
(5) Approve the Site
By now we’ll have finished putting the site together. We’ll upload it to an online clients preview folder so you can see the pages. If you want to make any final corrections, tweaks or small changes at this point you’re most welcome to. Once you’re happy with the result the site is ready to publish. At this stage we would like email approval to confirm that the project is complete to your satisfaction.
(6) Going Live
Everything’s done, so we’re ready to go live. We’ll make sure your Web host is set up, the right Web address is pointing to the site, and all the pages are there and working. If there are forms on your site we’ll test these out and confirm the emails are coming through.At this point we’ll return any discs you’ve given us and any hardcopy documents you’d like back.
(7) Promoting the Site
If you have requested a site promotion service then we will now get this underway. Keep in mind that most search engines take six to twelve weeks to pick up any submissions. A search engine report will be sent to you detailing what we have done.
(8) What’s Next?
We will enjoy talking with you over the upcoming months to measure your site’s performance and to help you to get additional value from your Web site. We love helping our clients to create asuccessful Web presence so please keep in mind that we are available for any Internet / Web orientated queries that you may have.