I get asked quite frequently what exactly my design process entails. Typically most custom website designs take between 4-6 weeks to complete and sometimes longer depending on the project scope and complexity of the job.
Websites that have many pages, extensive functionality needs, or custom e-commerce sites with many products to enter can’t take upwards of 6 months to a year, however, I am going to show you what my typical design process is for a standard 4-8 page informational website design.
1. Let’s Chat
Typically a potential client will reach out to me through email or by calling/texting me. We will discuss the project details, what they are looking for, and if I can help them with their needs. If I feel the job is a good fit for my skills I will provide an estimate of final costs and timeframe to complete the job. If the potential client agrees we then move forward with the next steps.
2. Sign Contract
Once a client agrees to move forward with the design process I ask that they sign a contract. An email will be sent with a link to a client portal (via Dubsado) that will include all documents, questionnaires, payment due dates etc.
The contract is in place to outline my responsibility and the clients’ responsibility if any (such as submitting content/images to me) and basically puts everything in writing for both the client and me to know what is to be expected.
3. Deposit 50%
As soon as they sign the contract they will receive an invoice for a 50% deposit. Once a client has submitted their deposit I place them on my calendar for our agreed upon timeframe. I typically book in 4-6 week timeframes but like I said that can vary depending on the project.
Now that the client has signed a contract + submitted the deposit, I will go ahead and send a link to join Asana. This is where the client will submit all content and information needed for me to start working on their project and where we will communicate. Using Asana as my main communication area ensures no lost emails and a smooth, clear design process for the client.
The client can also see all due dates and where I am exactly in the design process.
5. Fill Out Design Questionnaire
You will receive a link to fill out a design questionnaire via email. This questionnaire will help me understand the client’s web design needs, design style, what they do and don’t like.
6. Submit Content
Now it’s time to submit the website content. Every website needs content. The client does this through Asana where I have each page listed the client can then go ahead and upload a word doc or google doc to the corresponding page. As well as upload a zip file with any/all images that are to be used on that page of the website. I have them do this on each page of their website. If the client has chosen to have a copywriter do this for them then this is where I will collaborate with the copywriter to create the website’s content.
7. Design Stage
Now that all the content and images have been submitted it’s time to move forward with the design stage. At this point, I will create a mock-up layout of the website in Adobe Illustrator. Once I’ve created an example of a few pages I will go ahead and send over to the client to review. This ensures the client and I are on the same page design-wise.
8. Development Stage
If the client approved the mock-up I will then take the layout and make it live on a test website as well as finish any remaining pages + make sure they are in line with the rest of the website’s design. Then I send over a link for the client to look over the demo site. I will make any changes if they are requested and move forward with installation and setup on the client’s website.
9. Installation + Setup
Once the client has approved the website design I will go ahead and get the website installed and setup for the client within 72 hours of approval of the demo site. I also will ask the client makes the final remaining payment on the account before installation if there is still a remaining balance.
10. Drink Wine + Celebrate!!!