I recommend the following process, but budgets and timeframes vary and every project and client is different. I’m flexible though, we’ll make it work.
It’s fine if you’d like to meet in person at any stage, or we can talk on the phone or just email, whatever you’re more comfortable with. (Some of my clients live locally, some are spread around Australia and others are in Europe and North America.)
This is based on website work, but the process is similar for most design work.
Check we’re a match!
We get in touch or you fill out the first bit of my questionnaire to determine what you’re hoping for, and check that I can do it and meet your deadline.
If you’re happy to move along I’ll get some more info off you – I’ll ask you to fill out at least the first bit of my questionnaire, if you haven’t already.
We’ll determine the main goals of your site (or project), the broad scope – what features you want, roughly how much work is involved.
I’ll get back to you with a quote.
Initial Discovery Phase
We’ll delve right into your problems – why do you want this work done? What are we trying to fix?
I’d like a lot more info now. I want to know all about your business and brand and your customers. Yep you guessed it – my questionnaire – this is the bit it’s really for.
I’ll also ask for a deposit at this stage.
I’ll go through all your info, do some research, maybe ask more questions, try to get clarity in my mind.
I’ll get back to you with a synthesis or summary to check we’re in agreement. It will include a concise description of your brand that will direct our future design and messaging decisions.
If any SEO work will be undertaken the research should start now. Discovered opportunities or difficulties may influence our strategic decisions.
Now we can start to make a plan together, prioritise the goals and efforts.
We might think about the journey of your customers – what compels them to look for you, how they find you, why they choose you, why they come back, why they advocate for you!
We’re starting to think about content – what do we need, what should we focus on.
I’ll suggest the basic organisation of your site – the ‘information architecture’.
You or we will work on the actual content. I prefer not to create your content from scratch myself, but I’d like to help you edit the main bits.
I’ll first prepare some stylescapes – which are similar to moodboards and contain images and text and graphic elements – to check that my visual interpretation of your brand matches yours and aligns with ‘the voice’ we want to use with your customers.
Then I’ll prepare some actual page layouts at different screen sizes for you to check. I’d like at least draft versions of all your main types of content before this as it will influence the design.
I’ll start work on the the real thing.
I’ll need all your final content before this stage. Any content changes from now on will be billed extras.
I’ll upload a test site to one of my domains so you can check everything.
As soon as you’re happy we can make it live on your domain.
I’ll also do some housekeeping like telling Google about your site and setting up Analytics etc.
After your site is live it’s still just as easy to make changes – you can make adjustments and improvements, and of course add new content and update any details that change.
Small things like a wording change or two only take a few minutes, if you’d like me to do it would be free. Rearranging pages or adding new content might take a little longer, I’d charge by the hour or part thereof. Bigger feature or structural changes would cost more, I’d let you know roughly beforehand.