What is my design process?
In the mist of Covid-19 (Corona Virus), we at JDS WebDesign are hoping everyone is safe, washing your hands frequently, sneezing and coughing in your elbow, and practicing social distancing. Over the next several weeks, we are planning on blogging about how to make your website more business friendly. We will have some tutorials on our favorite plugins and features, which will make your site more efficient.
With the exception of how to land clients, most new free lancer inquire about my design process. How do I handle a project from the beginning to end? My design process has five steps…discovery, design/development, testing and quality assurance review, launch, and support.
While discovery is the least favorite for my clients, it is by far the most important. This is the stage in which assets are gathered…logos, content (most of the time, I use my wordsmith), images, and passwords related to the project (from domain to existing website). Figuring out target audience and pain points are established during this process. Little to no design and development occurs during this stage. This information is provided to the client, prior to the contract signature or down payment acceptance.
While this is a boring stage (at least many of my client have told me that), it is essential to the project. Just placing design elements with no goal or objective, is similar to asking the client to redesign the project within the next six months.
“If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail.”
Design / Development Phase
Creating the demo site. Making sure you have the correct color scheme. Placing the intellectual architecture in place. Highlighting pain point solutions. Design the client’s website? Making sure the site flows and all the features and functionality are present.
Creating or connecting social media platforms to the demo site. Establishing responsive site. How does the demo site look on a tablet and phone device?
Testing / Quality Assurance
Making sure all the features and functionality works. Check on the links and making sure you have no 404 page(s). Having several design friends review the website, they are looking for functionality issues. Do the forms load correct? Is the color scheme web friendly? Does the features add value to the site? Can they tell what the pain points are? Are those pain points solved?
During this stage, finding keywords for search engine optimization is done. Setting up launch campaign is done.
Establishing a launch date (should have been set during the discovery). Making sure all third party solutions are up and working (mailchimp, convertkit). Approving social media launch campaign, and making sure all financial obligations are closed.
Moving the demo site to the client’s domain.
Setting up search engine optimization plan. Sharing the search engine optimization plan with your client. Creating back up for the website. Performance and up time reports are created. Checking to make sure all the pain points are being address and showcasing data to the client.
Image courtesy of Charles Deluvio.