Whether we're creating a complex Drupal Website or a simple WordPress style brochure Website, our workflow is to address the FOCUS, FORM and FUNCTION of your project, in that order. You may look at this process and say, "Wait, isn't it a universally recognized design principle that form follows function?" And you would be correct* - when one is saying the word "function" and meaning "intent" as in the purpose of the thing you're designing. We actually cover the intent in the FOCUS stage (and when more advanced application development is necessary, the functional specifications/feature summary is priced out and determined before the estimate), so by the time we get to the FUNCTION, we're just sorting out the nuts and bolts and actually creating the functionality or final implementation of your design. Get it? If not, don't worry, we love explaining ourselves.
The most important phase of your Website project happens before the design and implementation even begins. We determine the FOCUS of your project by investigating your needs as they relate to this specific undertaking and your business as a whole. The goals we set in this stage become the foundation upon which your project is built. We start with the following questions to define those goals:
WHY are we undertaking this project? We wouldn't want to build you a hammer when you need a screwdriver, so it's important that we take the time to address this question.
WHO is your target audience?
WHERE will this project fit in with your business objectives and current marketing?
WHAT will your Website look like? And we're not just talking design here - during this stage of the process, we also address the content of your site as the design is determined by the quantity and priority of your content. Good content leads to good design.
It's important to realize that design is an iterative process that involves back and forth communication. The clarity and detail of the feedback we receive during the revision process greatly effects the quality of the experience and the final product. We always want to tie design decisions to the goals we worked with you to establish, so it's crucial that we give our Web designers the opportunity to solve problems and not just take direction.
HOW is this going to work? While it's likely that your team or ours established a basic outline or detailed plan for the project prior to estimating, now it's time to actually get it done — spoiler alert: plans change. During this phase we implement and troubleshoot the functional aspects of your Website or in the case of graphic design projects, we finalize and prep the files in the required format.
Now is also the time to finalize your plan for ongoing Website maintenance. Commonly referred to as a governance plan, this will help you answer questions like who is responsible for updates and what schedule they'll be following; how often site analytics will be reviewed; and how frequently software will be updated.
*and a nerd