Development & Discovery
This first step is actually the most important one, as it involves a meeting (1-2 hours) to understand your company. It involves a good understanding of you – what your business goals and dreams are, and how the web can be utilized to help you achieve those goals. I will provide a client questionnaire which will help you as a business owner decide what kind of site you want and what your goals are (bring in new clients, e-commerce, provide information, etc).
Going through this process is a great way to learn what it is that you want in a website. It also provides a way for me to gather the project requirements.
After the questionnaire is filled out I will provide you with a content plan focused on specific goals. The proposal will include the following:
• Client Needs
• Recommended Solution
• Fee Summary
• Next Steps
There may be additional sections for a large project such as:
• Estimated Project Schedule
• Terms and Conditions
It is time to put together a plan for your website. This is the point where a site map is developed. The site map is a list of all main topic areas of the site, as well as sub-topics, if applicable. This serves as a guide as to what content will be on the site, and is essential to developing a consistent, easy to understand navigational system.
During the design phase, I will also help you decide what technologies should be implemented.
Drawing from the information gathered up to this point, it’s time to determine the look and feel of your site. I’m a big believer that the “keep it simple” principle should be the primary goal of site design.
Target audience is one of the key factors taken into consideration. A site aimed at teenagers, for example, will look much different than one meant for a financial institution. As part of the design phase, it is also important to incorporate elements such as the company logo or colors to help strengthen the identity of your company on the web site.
In this phase, communication between both you and me is crucial to ensure that the final website will match your needs and taste. It is important that we work closely, exchanging ideas, until we arrive at the final design for your website.