Consistency Is Key
Look closely at any successful business and you’ll find a history of consistently providing core products or services. In our business for example, the product is a professional, custom website. At first glance it may seem like each time we’re designing a web site that is thoroughly different, and to a great extent that’s true. Where our consistency is found is in the quality of our designs time after time. And that steady, reliable result is acheived by using a repeatable (yet flexible) process to achieve the final product. Today we’re going to walk you through the process which leads each time to a professional website design.
Understand The Vision
Each prospective client is taken through the same first few steps. Whether the official form gets pulled out or not, we always begin a project through our ‘Website Design Dialogue‘. As most of our clients are local companies in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, or Stafford, this conversation usually takes place face to face at our office in Central Park. We’ve compiled and refined this ‘WDD’ to guide us through the process of getting to know the client and understanding their organization and the vision they have for their website. From there we discuss a series of important topics about the style and color scheme of the website together. We also look at and discuss websites or other works together to get a more intimate understanding of the clients preferences. Lastly, we talk about the pages and features of the website, asking questions, making suggestions, and building an understanding of the final product.
Recommendations and Expectations
As the ‘Website Design Dialogue’ wraps up, we guide the client through an explanation of our packages and prices, recommending the package that will best meet their needs. When appropriate, we will assemble a customized quote to fit their specific situation. We also discuss their long-term plan for hosting and e-mail and explain our services in those areas as well.
Once we’ve come to an agreement on the website design package, we fill out a very important document which we call ‘Clarified Expectations’. This single sheet of paper outlines the design, style, colors, features, pages, and more. It also lays out a proposed schedule for the project. This way the client can know when to expect to hear from us and the targeted completion or launch date for the website. We keep a copy of this ‘Clarified Expectations’ for our team and the client takes a copy of the CE with them as well.
Design, Review, Revise, Repeat
With CE in hand, our web designers get to work. Typically the first draft of the design is ready for review in 5 business days. At this point it goes to the client and we enter the cycle of Review & Revise as outlined in the CE for that specific project. Unless the job is a “Rush Job” this process takes three to five weeks, with the timeline being built around the client’s schedule and the requirements of the project.
Final Approval & Launch
After the Final Review & Final Revision are complete, we launch the new website! This is the part of the process where we deal with a lot of technical details. Suffice it so say that our checklist for this phase of the project is extensive, detailed, and thorough.
Lastly, we train the client on how to use their new website. Each cient also receives a copy of our Website Manual to take with them after the training. The hands-on website training session starts with the basics of making changes to the website that are consistent across most of our projects. From there we go on to teach the client about things specific to their website’s features or functions. Most training sessions last 1 to 2 hours.
The web design is complete, the website is live, and the client has been trained on using the site, yet we’re still not done! Each project includes several months of support – so they can call us with questions for free! In fact, our web support team will actually reach out regularly to see if they have questions and offer some suggestions.
Consistency Is Key
While there is no magic key to success, our ability to provide personalized website designs again and again is firmly rooted in on our carefully developed process. If you are looking for an experienced team that has a plan to build a successful website for your business, please shoot us an e-mail or give us a ring.
What’s Your Key Process?
Does your business or organization use a process that you’ve found yields a consistent product and happy customers? We’d love to hear about it – give us an outline in the comments below!