The following is an overview of our Web design process, from the initial contact to the completion of the Website.
1. Request For Quote (RFQ) - After contacting us and letting us know they are looking for, we ask our potential clients tell us about their business, and what they would like to get out of their Website. We do this through a customized RFQ form. This is actually the start of the discovery phase of the Web design process, and we eventually use this information in the design of your Website. In fact, to properly quote a Web design project, we need to create a thumbnail design first.
2. Proposal - Given the information submitted on the RFQ, and the resulting thumbnail design we create, we provide the client with a proposal that defines the project. Included is the cost and a rough schedule. Additions or changes to the site that go beyond the scope of this proposal are considered "change orders" and are subject to additional fees or re quoting.
3. Discovery - Once the proposal has been accepted the initial payment had been made, we begin to gather as much information about the company, industry and clients as possible. The more we know about the business and Website visitors, the the better we will be able to create a Website that meets the business' needs and exceeds the client's expectations.
4. Planning - After all of the relevant information is gathered, we prepare the planning documents that will guide us in building the Website. We also plan the promotion and marketing of the Website at this point, because the way it is put together will have a significant effect on search engine rankings down the road. It is important to plan and design with promotion in mind. Upon approval of the planning documents, we move to the next phase of the process - Design.
5. Design - At this point, using the planning documents as our blueprint, we will determine how to best produce the Website. The design process consists two basic phases:
- Information Architecture - How the information will be diced up, organized and presented to the user, and how they will move around in the site (navigation).
- Graphic Design - How the site will look. The graphic design work comes later in the process than many clients expect. It is impossible to create a good graphic design without first knowing the information architecture. If the graphic design is done first, and then the information architecture is determined, undoubtedly the graphic design needs to be tweaked, usually with negative consequences.
6. Production - Once the site is designed, we put together a list of all the things we will need to complete the site. This document is called the "production list." Using this list, we create all of the "assets" (graphics, text, documents, databases) that are used in the next phase of the design process - Integration.
7. Integration - Now that we have all of the parts ready, it's time to put it all together on the development server. Our patience and planning have paid off. At the end of this step the Website looks great, works, and is ready for testing. We don't do "Under Construction."
8. Testing - We test your site to meet all specifications set forth in the planning documents. We make sure that the site loads fast and all of the links and applications work on the browsers and operating systems specified.
9. Deployment - Once it is tested, the Website is ready for the world to see. We transfer the Website to the live host server, perform necessary set up and it is usually up and running the next day.
10. Promotion - Now that the Website is available on the Internet, we need to tell everyone how to find it. It can take a few hours or a few months for the visitors to start arriving, depending on the strategy taken, and on the advertising budget.