The Web Design Process

If you’re like me, you probably like to know what lies ahead before you embark on a journey. It’s only natural that you’d want to know how this web design journey will play out. Here I’ll outline my process for you so you know exactly what to expect going forward.

  1. You’ve probably already been in touch with me via my contact form or by email. If you haven’t already, I’ll ask you to check out my current services so you understand all the details.
  2. I’ll get back to you via email asking for clarification on what services you’re interested in. I’ll ask a few questions that will lay the groundwork for our first conversation.
  3. Once I’ve heard back from you and had a chance to review your answers, I’ll be in touch to schedule our first call or Skype (if you’re not local) meeting. This is where we can both ask questions that will help us determine if we’re a good fit for one another.
  4. After our call, I’ll ask that you email me letting me know you’d like to go ahead. I’ll confirm whether I think I’m the right designer for you and let you know what the current time frame would be to complete your project.
  5. I’ll go off and prepare a proposal based on what we’ve discussed. The proposal will outline the cost and scope of the project. If you accept the proposal, I’ll send you a contract and we’ll get started once you’ve signed it.
  6. I’ll invoice you for 50% of your project estimated cost. This will secure your place in my calendar.
  7. As soon as I receive your payment, we’ll start an open line of communication. I’ll set you up with a number of tools that will help us to stay on task and facilitate communication.
    • I’ll set up a shared project using the project management tool, Asana, to track tasks and facilitate communication.
    • I’ll share a spreadsheet with you that will give me access to your login credentials for web domain, hosting and newsletter accounts. (Don’t worry if you don’t have any of these yet; I’ll help you get them set up.)
    • I’ll share a Dropbox folder where you’ll be able to upload copy, graphics and photographs.
    • I’ll share a private Pinterest board with you where you can share your website inspiration with me.
  8. Within a week of our start date, we’ll set up a strategy call. During this call I’ll get to understand the scope of your business, the goals for your website and we’ll figure out how to best leverage your web presence. This is when we’ll discuss what content you’ll need. If you need a copywriter, I can make some recommendations. I can also recommend where to source images.
  9. I’ll ask you to start sharing website inspiration with me on our private Pinterest board so I can get an idea of what you like and what you don’t like. You can share examples of layouts, fonts and colours that speak to you as well as those that don’t. I might also share some ideas and ask you questions to get a better understanding of your brand and aesthetic.
  10. After a week of collecting ideas and inspiration, I’ll go off and create a mock-up of some of the key pages of your website (e.g., Home, Services, Blog).
  11. I’ll present the mock-ups to you in PDF form. After you’ve had some time to carefully review the mock-up, I’ll ask you to provide me feedback in writing with as much detail as possible. The more concrete and specific you can be, the better able I’ll be to create a web presence that best reflects your business. Tell me exactly what you like, don’t like, want tweaked or scrapped completely. I’ll go back and tweak the design accordingly.
    NOTE: If, at this point, you’re not feeling satisfied with what I’ve created for you, I’ll be happy to refund 50% of your initial deposit. No questions asked. I’ll definitely have put more work into the design than 50% but I really want you to be thrilled with your home online.
  12. Once you’ve seen mock-ups and you’ve approved any tweaks you’d like to see, I’ll begin the development and coding phase. This takes about two weeks or more depending on the complexity of the design. At this point, I’ll be inserting the copy and content on each page of your site that you have supplied.
  13. As soon as it’s ready, your site will be live on one of my test sites for you to test and experience. We’ll adjust and massage the areas that require it.
  14. After you see your design, make any minor design adjustments, and test for bugs, we’re ready to transfer the design to your own URL. You’ll have already given me all the login credentials I need to set you up. If you currently have a website, we’ll put it in maintenance mode while I code in all your customizations and format your content. This takes no longer than two weeks.
  15. The pre-launch phase is when you’ll spend time going over your site for errors or broken links. I’ll be doing the same. Once you’re satisfied, I’ll ask you to sign off on the design and you’ll be ready to . . .
  16. LAUNCH! After launch, you’ll receive videos from me showing you how to use your site. I’ll be available to you via email for 30 days should you need any help. And if you’ve purchased my maintenance package, I’ll be in touch monthly to keep you updated on the health of you site.