A goal without a plan is just a wish.
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

A simple, four phase web design process

1.) EDUCE The Plan

Website Strategic Discovery
The purpose of Discovery is to develop a detailed strategic plan for your new website. This plan includes much more than the production and launch of the site. We take a comprehensive approach, focused on realizing your business objectives across all of your relevant digital properties.

Your website is the core of our strategy – it’s your branded space online, and the digital hub for all your content on the web. So, we begin by aligning your business objectives with the content, data, and design of your new site. From there, we build out the plan to incorporate any other relevant digital initiatives.
If your needs extend beyond our capabilities, we introduce you to our strategic partners. For each component, we specify how it will integrate with your site and our web design services. Then we establish benchmarks by which to measure its effectiveness.

At the end of Discovery, you have an actionable plan for your website. During Discovery, our typical Deliverables include:


  • End-to-End Goals, Objectives, and KPIs
  • Case Studies & Research
  • Roles & Responsibilities Documentation
  • 
Sitemap
  • Functional Spec
  • 
Initial Content Templates

  • SEO keyword recommendations
Web Design Planning

Client tasks during this phase:

  • Provide domain, hosting and Google Analytics credentials
  • Review preliminary site plan and provide feedback
  • Approve the site plan
  • Create the content for each page of the site based on the content assignments and keyword strategy.

2.) Express the Vision

Web Design
At EDUCO, we take a holistic perspective with our web design process, approaching it from both a visual and functional perspective. For us, "design" is a mindset that informs every aspect of your project.

The visualization of your brand on the web is an essential component of your site, and we partner with you to develop a look and feel that is consistent with your brand vision. We create multiple Mood Boards, which show our vision for key design elements: colors, fonts, textures, patterns, imagery, icons, and navigation. Our Mood Boards are informed by your existing design collateral and brand assets, where appropriate. If you don't have brand assets, or if you are developing a new visual brand, we will create a look and feel that reinforces your brand positioning.

But our web design services involve more than just colors and fonts. We also need to think carefully about the layout and information hierarchy of your key pages. During the design phase, we also create Wireframes, which are unstyled, grayscale layouts of the top-level pages in your site. These Wireframes are used to generate the key page templates in your Content Management System.

Together, our Mood Boards and Wireframes provide the design framework for your site. We work through your feedback and revisions in a collaborative, task-oriented style. Along the way, we prepare you for the iterative method that drives our web development process.

Web Designing

Client tasks during this phase:

  • Provide detailed design feedback
  • Approve the Mood Boards and Wireframes once revisions are complete

3.) Engineer the Experience

Web Development
We take an iterative approach to our development process - the idea is to build a functional prototype as quickly as possible, then start engaging your feedback. To this end, we typically produce three working versions of your site, rolling them out in phases and engaging your feedback. 

Website Alpha is the first iteration of your site. It typically includes:

  • Design style and key page layouts based on Mood Boards and Wireframes
  • Prototypes of advanced functional components

Website Beta is the second iteration of your site. It typically includes:

  • Design and content tweaks based on Alpha feedback
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Layouts complete, advanced functionality ready for testing

After Alpha and Beta, we are typically ready to produce the Final Website, which includes:

  • Any final design and content tweaks complete
  • Pre-launch Quality Assurance testing, including cross-browser compatibility tests
Web Development

Client tasks during this phase:

  • Provide feedback and/or revisions for Website Alpha
  • Provide feedback and/or revisions for Website Beta
  • Approve the Final Website

4.) Engage Your Audience

Website Training, Adoption & Launch
For content manageable websites, we recommend a two-week training period during which the site is complete, but not yet live. In the final phase of our web design process we use a combination of videos and site-specific training documentation. If you’d like, you can check out some of our general Drupal tutorial videos.

As for launch protocol, we have a few best practices we adhere to:
  • 1 week code freeze before the site is launched 
  • We don't launch on Fridays or Mondays. No Fridays because we are on standby for post-launch monitoring for 1-2 days after the site is launched, and we don’t recommend doing this over the weekend. No Mondays because we always need a day of prep before the launch, and we may need your feedback as we prep.
  • Whether or not we have an ongoing maintenance agreement post-launch, we strongly recommend a minimum of 1-2 days on “standby” for post-launch monitoring. We include these hours in our budget, provided everything stays within scope during production. 
Website Launch

Client tasks during this phase:

  • Attend the CMS training session
  • Begin to use the CMS and make any necessary content edits
  • Attend training check in

 

Download our Sample Process Packet
This might be helpful if you'd like to take a first hand look at our process overview, see a sample timeline with detailed look at our process, see what a sample content assignment doc contains, and/or get a better idea of what moodboards and wireframes look like.