I talk about how I’m a web designer here, but thought I’d share the start to finish of one of my recent website redesigns to give you an idea of what the process is like:
Step 1: Initial contact.
A client finds me (usually through a referral – this particular one found me through another client in a similar non-profit field.) and contacts me with a project. I get in touch to chat about the project and ask any necessary follow-up questions and send them pricing information if it’s a good fit. A contract is signed, an invoice is paid, and I send off the Welcome Packet.
Step 2: Client questionnaire & I do research.
In the Welcome Packet is the Client Intake Form, which asks a lot of questions to get a feel for design preferences, website goals, and brand. It sets the foundation for the project and makes the process go much more smoothly.
I use this as the basis for research on competitors, desired website styles and functions, and their existing business and branding.
Step 3: It’s time for design! Design elements & color palettes.
I sent the client this:
Step 4: Mockups and revisions
Taking all of this information and my expertise on best practices on the web, I create the first round of mockups to get the conversation started. Here is what I initially sent the client:
Sometimes it takes a lot of revisions, but this time she was pretty thrilled with my first concept, which is always nice! Depending on the project size, I also do a mockup of an interior page before developing. This time it was:
Step 5: Code test site
After the mock-up is approved, I hunker down and get to coding!
I install the design on a test site (either on my own server or theirs), where they get a chance to look at everything in action, see how to feels, and request any more changes. I find that if the client is getting stuck in the revisions stages, it usually because they can’t imagine it live, so this step helps a lot. This particular site had several galleries and custom forms (application, reference, and contact).
Step 6: Launch!
After any revisions of style, inputting all of the content, and adding any functions, we launch the site to the public. It’s a very, very exciting step to have months of hard work finally shared with others. I send the client a Goodbye Packet with screencasts for instructions, login info, a branding design guide, and more. I also check back in after a few weeks to see how things are going, ask if they need any help, and if they’d be willing to share with me their thoughts on the project and process for my client testimonials page.
I love website design as it’s an ideal balance for me of left brain and right brain work. I get to be creative and logical. Plus, I love my clients, so I get a social aspect, as well! I’m lucky. I declared on this blog almost exactly seven years ago that I wanted to do this, and here I am! So lucky.