Sunday, November 3, 2013

Simplified Web Design Process

The first discussion that is brought up by every web design customer is: "How much, and how long?"  The first question depends greatly on what their website entails, and the depth of the project.  The second question is dependent upon the answers of the first as well.  However the speed of the web design project can greatly be increased by timely responses from the client.  I have found that by giving your web design client an outline to the design process they know when they need to respond to your inquisitions.   This speeds up the design process and makes for happier customers. I have broken the web design process down into 4 phases.  The phases are:  Planning, bare bones design, coding and design, site launch.Planning phaseThis is perhaps the most overlooked phase by any web designer today.  This includes the initial meeting with the client.  Take this time to really get to know the client.  The client is investing a lot of money in your web design abilities; take the time to know the people that are paying you.  Also included in the planning web design phase is the quote phase.  A strong and well-written quote will land many high quality web design projects.  Make sure the quote is tailored to what the client has in mind for their website.  The final step is the contract agreement phase.  This is the most important part for the web designer.  A well-written contract will keep you from doing extra work and not getting paid.  The contract will most likely go through several revisions until you and the client agree upon a happy medium.   Once the contract is agreed upon and signed by both parties the beginning of the design process can begin.Bare Bones DesignThis is when the client will submit the content that they wish to have on their website.  The amount and media used should be disclosed within the web design contract from the planning phase.  Using the customer submitted content the web designer comes up with a homepage template.  This is usually in graphic format and is reviewed by the client.  The client lets the web designer know of any changes and then the web designer implements the requested changes.   After a home page template has been designed you can move onto the sub pages.  These are designed and then shown to the clients.  These rarely differ from the design of the homepage so the revision process is much quicker.   Once you and the client have agreed on a web design you can move onto the coding process.Coding ProcessNow you can get down and dirty.  Using the designs you and the client have agreed upon it is time to make the site come to life.  This step has many phases and is the longest of them all.  If you took the time to properly prepare in the planning phase and worked well with your client during the revisions this step can be easy.  Once there is a working model the client is shown and up to two revisions are made.   Make sure the site is constantly tested in many different browsers for caompatibility.  Once the site has been completed it is time to go live!Site LaunchAfter the client signs off on the final site and the final deposit is made it is time to launch the site.  The web designer should make sure that everything works before uploading the site to the server.  Once the site is live, the web designer should watch over it for about a week and make revisions to problems they may have missed before or that have raised with the launch of the site.   If the client is truly satisfied they will hopefully show there satisfaction with a great testimonial about the abilities of the web designer.Using these basic phases will make the web design process as painless as possible for the designer and the client.

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