The process we follow when creating a website is:
- Initial Meeting & Proposal
- Discovery Workshop and Technical Specification
- Design Phase
- Technical Development
- Testing Schedule
Over the last five years this process has barely changed. What has changed is how we go about each stage.
We’ve used the latest technology, plus the learnings from every website we’ve ever created to make considerable improvements. The result is a far more efficient process, which speeds up the time it takes to create a website and is a far better experience for our clients.
The secret of our efficient website design process
Let us explain what we mean by far more efficient.
If you are techie, you’ll totally get this! If not, don’t worry, ignore the technical terms, you’ll still get an understanding of why our methodology is pretty smart.
We now place way more emphasis on the Discovery Workshop. We take a deeper dive into understanding your business and the audience you wish to reach.
Although the Wireframe, Design and Technical Development phases have largely stayed the same, the old way was a really inefficient way of doing it.
The old way…
Historically, we’d draw a wireframe in Illustrator, Sketch or InVision and then export it as a PDF. We’d then spend ages writing notes on all the features and functions.
Next, we’d start to design every page of the website, which was a labour-intensive process, before sending proofs as a series of PDFs for clients to review.
The review process was very cumbersome too. You’d have to zoom in to get a better look at visuals, then zoom out to try and get a sense of the whole page at the same time juggling reading notes to try and link the two together.
Following this, we’d spend ages building the front end linked to the WordPress CMS. This meant any changes were more time consuming to make, because we had to adapt the ‘back-end’.
The new way…
The way we do things now is very different.
We use HTML to build the wireframe on a platform called ‘Webflow’.
You get a link and can literally click around the wireframe to get a sense of how your website fits together. Here’s an example of a wireframe that we created for a client of ours. It allows the client to get a sense of how the content is structured and the user journey, clicking on a number of active links to move from one page to the next.
We also arrange a time to walk you through this early structural design on a conference call (reducing our carbon footprint!). As it’s in front of you it’s easy to discuss and give feedback.
We then take this HTML, add some CSS and create a style tile. This is much more efficient because we’re not designing every page, we’re just designing the key components e.g. buttons that are the same across the pages, colour schemes that infuse the site or menus which appear on every section.
There is now a clear sense of the structure of the content and design direction allowing clients to comfortably sign these phases off once amends have been made.
The HTML and CSS then ported to a front-end website. At this stage the website is still not connected to WordPress, but it allows you to get a feel for your website that is 85% completed – generally the dynamic elements of the site are missing, like collapsible menus, video headers or animated hover states. As opposed to just having PDF designs, the client can really get a feel for the site and how it works, clicking around as if it were completed. Because there isn’t a ‘back-end’ attached at this point, any amends that are needed take less time to deliver, meaning less budget wasted.
Once the front-end site is approved, we link it to WordPress and build in all of the final functionality and editing capabilities, and because 85% of the site has been approved already, launch dates don’t get missed as there aren’t any nasty surprises or wholesale final amends.
Over the last few years we’ve honed our testing schedule and checklist to be far more concentrated and methodical, so everything else is straightforward and ready for the final sign off.
An efficient and pleasurable website experience!
We hear many website nightmare stories about awful experiences that people have had. It really doesn’t have to be so.
At Square Daisy we have a great combination of commercial and technical ability. We’ve used these skills to fine tune every stage of our website creation process.
In the old days we spent ages creating PDF’s which ultimately got binned.
Today, we re-use and build on existing code as we move through the stages. It is a much more efficient process that shaves off significant time but also delivers a much clearer, engaging and enjoyable experience for our clients.
Why write a blog on a service that elevates us above our competitors when they can just copy it? Because good websites can cost a fair amount of money, so we think you should use that money efficiently – which we do.
Please do give us a call if you want to discuss a web project with us.