Beginning with our initial meeting, discovery is the most important phase of your project. Here we can begin to understand expectations, responsibilities, and timelines. Here we will also begin to discuss the design process, and outline the scope of the project. This is where we start establishing what success will look like.
As a response to our initial meeting, to define the scope of the project, we present our understanding of the objectives and deliverables, and we provide an initial pricing estimate for the work involved in delivering the project.
A number of assumptions are made in order to deliver this initial budget estimate and milestone plan, and these assumptions are documented in the scope of work.
In this phase, the project requirements, processes, responsibilities, deliverables, timelines, pricing and payment schedules are agreed on.
Because this step is so important, we may need to have a number of conversations before an agreed scope and budget are established.
When we have an agreement on the scope of work, then the job begins!
A wireframe is a page representation which contains the functional elements of a page without any graphical elements present.
It is always tempting to begin the design process by choosing colors, shapes, and fonts, or by mitating another project. But we can’t paint a house before we frame it; and before we can make your website shine, we need to put some thought into how it will work.
A wireframe separates the decorative elements from the design approach. In consultation with you, designers will define and refine the elements that need to go on the page and establish how the pages are going to work together to provide the user’s experience.
A wireframe gives you the ability to rapidly try different approaches without the commitment of actual page design.
The design phase is where creativity comes into play and where the fun begins. Color schemes, typography, and images bring your pages alive, and create the face of the site. A good design is not only pretty to look at; it builds on your existing branding and message. In design, as much as in writing your text, we always begin and end by asking what we are trying to accomplish: What action do we want the user to take?
In designing your site, we keep in mind usability and accessibility guidelines. (Your site should be equally usable for blind users, or those unable to use a mouse!)
Depending on your project, various kinds of testing may come into play.
User Acceptance Testing begins as soon as the project is presented for review. Stakeholders determine whether the website does what was specified in the scope of work.
Functional and Application testing. This step is part of our internal development process, but you may also choose to devote time to functional testing by your own team. This includes testing your website for compliance with stated browsers, checking for broken links, checking file sizes and page weights, site response times and speeds, and verifying forms and applications work as desired.
Content Proofing is the process of checking the text and images for accuracy. If we are developing content for your site prior to delivery, we will already have submitted it for approval; but your team will of course want to proofread any pages that will be published under your name.
The publicly visible side of your design or creative project is the most noticeable part of our work. But behind the scenes, we will be providing you with all the technical information and instructions you need to manage your site, and we will train your people so they are confident in the use of the toolset that makes your site work.
Even if you choose to have us maintain every part of your website, for your files we will provide an accounting of all the resources, files, passwords, and technical details that make your site work. You are the ultimate owner of the site and all the information in it.
When the project is approved and implementation is done, and when all agree that the scope of work has been completed, then you officially accept the project.
At this point any remaining fees become due, and your project transitions into long-term support. Subsequent work, such as ongoing support, training, and content management, may be part of your long-term plan; or you may prefer to simply call for support as needed.