Every client has different needs and goals. Some clients do not want to take the time for face-to-face meetings, preferring instead to use skype or other online communications methods. My goal is to provide services via whichever method best makes use of your limited time.
Step #1 – “So, tell my about your ideal website?”
I need to know what you envision; what you hope to accomplish with your web presence, and your anticipated audience.
Are you selling anything directly from the website? Are you taking information and referring those leads to sales staff or others depending on various criteria?
What information do you wish to put on the website? Do you want new and updated information or news? How often and what will the source be?
How many people within your company will be accessing the site and making changes?
Step #2 – VF20 Designs For You
The design stage typically involves moving the information outlined in the planning stage further into reality.
This is where the visual layout of the website begins to take shape, using information gathered from the client in the planning phase.
Mock-Ups or Draft Sites
We prepare a draft or example site using placeholders and generic images to make sure we are on the right track. If you approve of the direction we are taking, we begin formalizing the structure and content based on your needs.
Review & Approval Cycle
A cycle of reviewing, tweaking and approving the mock-ups often takes place until (ideally) both the client and VF20 Designs are satisfied with the design. This is the easiest time to make changes.
Step #3 – Project Contract Development
The project contract sums up the information that has been gathered and agreed upon in the previous steps. This is a crucial element of the process and includes payment terms, project closure clauses, termination clauses, copyright ownership and timelines.
At this time the client is responsible for a payment of 50% of the contract’s total value for VF20 Designs to start design production.
Step #4 – It’s coding time
Development in general encompasses the bulk of the programming work, as well as loading content (whether I do it personally or your staff learns this process).
We suggest someone in your organization be assigned to this process. It isn’t difficult, has a short learning curve, and will save you money in the long term.
VF20 Designs performs a full website review using a file manager, and walks through every single page created. Everything from the home page to the submission confirmation page is tested, making sure everything is in working order and that nothing is missed visually or functionally.
Cross-browser viewing (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, iPhone, BlackBerry) is also reviewed in multiple browsers before the next step.
Step #5 – The Soft Launch
At this point the client previews the website on a testing space, in a ‘soft launch’, and before the site goes public. The purpose of the ‘soft launch’ phase is to prepare the website for public viewing. This requires final polishing of design elements, deep testing of interactivity and features and, most of all, a consideration of the user experience.
An important early step in this phase is to move the website, if need be, to its permanent Web server. Testing in the production environment is important because different servers can have different features and unexpected behavior (e.g. different database host addresses).
Particularly if you’re scrambling to meet the deadline, polishing a basically completed design can make a big difference. Here, you can identify parts of the website that could be improved in small ways. After all, you want to be as proud of this website as the client is.
Step #6 – The Launch
Business re-enters the picture at this point as VF20 Designs takes care of all the little tasks related to closing the project. Packaging source files, providing instructions for use and any required training occurs at this time.
VF20 Designs always leaves the client informed, and tries to predict any questions that you may have.
You have my word. I want you to be happy.