"Dread" is not a word I would normally associate with building a website.
So when I heard a client use the word dread to describe the process of building a website, it caught me off guard. I re-examined the process I was using and realized we were going about it the wrong way.
Most website projects begin with wireframes and a basic design, with a request to the client to provide content.
I realized this is actually the middle of the process, the place where website developers feel most comfortable. But for clients, who often don't know where to start with content creation, it can be stressful, messy, and inefficient. In other words, it can create dread.
That's when I realized building a great website should start not with our expertise, but with yours.
The most important role of a website is to communicate. That's why we start by researching your organization and associated subject matter. We work with you to create a "content map" that focuses on the concepts and relationships that will make up your website's message.
This content map forms the foundation for the rest of the project.
Using it as a backbone, we apply our expertise to build a framework and design that will communicate best with your customers.
Finally, we finish with visual design and development of all the components that will make up your website.
It’s not how everyone builds a website. But it works for us, and we think it will work for you, too.
How it Works
How do we turn your knowledge and objectives into a beautiful, functional website that provides values to your customers, clients, and colleagues?
This is how:
We start by leveraging your knowledge and expertise.
Without content, your website has nothing to communicate. That’s why we work with you to develop the content, the beating heart of your website. We research and organize the knowledge and expertise of your organization into a model that becomes the backbone of the website. This way, we effectively communicate your vision through the website.
Once we’ve assembled that model, we’ll start building the components that will make up your site. The process looks like this:
- We conduct research interviews with experts to go deep into your subject domain, as well as customer interviews so we stay focused on what's important.
- We review your existing website analytics to determine what's working and what is not.
- We start by involving everyone on your team to develop a domain model that illustrates at a high-level your expertise and lines of service. This gives us context for your website subject matter and helps align everyone with a common vision for the site.
- We then refine the domain model into a content model, made up of all the key topics that will be featured on your website.
- Each field includes a title and type. The "type" can be text, styled text, images, PDFs, or other content types.
- This gives us a foundation to create and curate content. It also creates a naming system that will keep content orderly, clean and attractive -- something website visitors and customers love.
Sitemap and Wireframe with Reusable Components
- We use the content developed so far to create a sitemap and wireframes. Because we've already put in the work to develop a content model, you'll see a real layout instead of imagining one -- no filler content.
- We break the wireframes down into reusable components, so layouts can be adjusted for each page, instead of a unchanging and inflexible design.
- We review accessibility and usability to maximize the reach of your new website.
- Using the sitemap and wireframes, we further develop the structure of the website and begin placing content.
Iterative Design, Development, and QA
- We begin building two or three site components at a time, such as design, development, and QA. This step takes place in two-week phases.
- By staying focused on individual components of the site, we can refine them and get more efficient feedback from you.
Approval & Deployment
- We take feedback every step of the way through development of the site. At the end of the process, once all the content is ready to go, we'll reserve some extra time for a final round of feedback.
- We do our own review of the site to make sure it's all come together seamlessly.
- Finally, we launch the site on your chosen hosting service!
Let’s find out together!
- Are you looking for a tailored website solution that suits your individual needs instead of a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all template?
- Do you want a website that can handle your goals and evolve as your objectives evolve?
- Do you want to work with a partner who leads you through a proven, unique process that draws on your knowledge and expertise?
If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions… let’s talk!