Our Unbelievably Simple Website Design Process
Hiring a design studio to build your website can be a scary thing, especially if you have no idea how it's done. For your peace of mind, here's how we approach things...
1. Information Gathering
An amazing website isn’t so amazing if it completely misses your marketing objectives and doesn’t reflect your company’s brand and image.
Before we even start dreaming about your site (and yes, this does happen…), we’ll initiate a conversation with you (online or offline) and ask a bunch of introductory questions to make sure we’re all on the same page with respect to deliverables, timelines, programming platforms, hosting requirements, etc.
Once we have a solid grasp on the project basics, it’s time to get specific. Through our incredibly handy online questionnaire, you’ll tell us a bit about your business, your competition, your design preferences, and what exactly you want to achieve with your new website. Once we’ve compiled this info, your Fifth and Missing account manager will meet with the internal design and development team, explaining the job in detail.
This vital first step ensures we’re designing a website that is inline with all of your requirements – from colours, to image placement, to custom options (ecommerce, member-only section, etc.).
Action items: Complete website questionnaire
Before we start getting creative, our first step in the design stage is to put together sketches, or wireframes, of the homepage and inside pages.
Imagine you’re building a house. Before the bricks and mortar, there are blueprints. Through these blueprints you get a general impression of how the house will look. Our wireframes are very similar. They provide a basic overview of how the various pages will be laid out – banner, content areas, sidebars, social media icons, navigation, etc. The placement of these elements are still very fluid so this is the perfect time to make ‘structural’ adjustments that would otherwise be far more time consuming to make later on in the project.
Here’s an example of a wireframe we did for AZZO, an electrical engineering company based in Australia.
Action items: Plan and finalize basic page layout
3. Design (Static)
The creative folk here have started their crazy happy dance. Things are now handed over to our design team who start transforming the lines and shaded boxes into a work of almost-art. Your website is taking on its identity.
Back to the house, once the blueprints have been approved, you’re next presented with a 3D rendering of the structure. You see how the house will eventually look and you’re loving it. And so with us, we’re hard at work breathing life into your site.
Your account manager will present with you with static images of the homepage and a few main inside pages and for the first time, you’ll be able to view a close representation of what your site will look like once it’s released to the world. The images won’t be functional (ie. ‘real’ web pages) – our purpose here is to first ensure the skin of the site (colours, fonts, etc.) are inline with your expectations. Changes made in this stage of the design process usually involve tinkering with the size and colour of the various content elements (navigation bar, content, headlines, etc) and size and style of image-based elements.
Here’s how AZZO’s inside page layout is looking.
At this point, you’ll have started prepping content and sourcing images for your site, ready to hand things over in time for the next stage – site development.
4. Site Development
Your website is coming along nicely. Pages have been created, most if not all of the content and imagery has been dropped into place, and things are looking fantastic.
Your house, which once existed only as few lines and boxes, now has a life of its own. At this stage, your account manager will provide you with a link to the development site and you’re free to give your new website a whirl. The design team will be busy putting finishing touches on the site but generally speaking, our work is coming to a close.
This stage is dedicated to dropping in the last bits of content, testing in-site navigation, ensuring offsite links work properly, forms are functioning as expected, etc. We fully expect there to be a number of last-minute edits (content, new pages, etc.) so don’t stress if you find yourself sending your account manager a few emails with a list of changes. We’re not interested in launching an incomplete site or a site filled with mistakes any more than you are!
5. Site Launch
Your site is finished and ready to go live. We now upload your site to the server of your choice and give things one final look over just because we’re picky like that. Just because your site is complete, doesn’t mean our involvement is as ell. We proudly offer free support for 10 business days after site launch – just in case.
Your website is prepared to take its rightful place on the giant interweb and become the online face of your business.
Throw some confetti and release it to the world.