BottomLine is a team made up of marketing, digital, and business professionals. Each month a member of our team contributes a topic to our blog in their skillset. This month’s blog comes to us courtesy of Kissel Cablayda, our Chief Designer.
If you’ve decided it’s time to build a new website, it’s quite normal to feel a little overwhelmed about the whole process – especially if you’ve never worked with an agency before. But have no fear, we’re here to break it down for you.
Whether you’re starting fresh or rebuilding an existing site, there’s a lot to think through before getting started. Starting your project off on the right foot can be the difference between having your site finishing on time (on budget) and having costly delays, rebuilds, or worse – a site that isn’t an accurate representation of your business.
BottomLine has built websites of all shapes, sizes and styles and we’ve found that having the right details and information up front makes all the difference. So let’s dive right in. Here’s a look at our process for building a great website.
Discovery & Goal Identification
The first step in any design project is the discovery session where we get to know your business inside out. From there, we uncover what the primary goal is for your site and any other major pieces to keep in mind going forward. Defining it’s greater purpose becomes our true north for design and functionality because our primary goal is that your new site aligns with overarching strategies, looks fantastic, and functions perfectly.
So, during the discovery phase, here are some of the questions we might ask you:
- What do you do that your competitors don’t?
- What kind of personality do you want to radiate?
- Who is your target demographic?
- What do your customers need to get out of your website?
- What actions would you like them to take when they visit?
Once we know who you are and what your goals are, our next step is defining the scope of the project. This is where we start getting into specifics in regards to form and function.
During this phase, we flesh out the following:
- What pages does your site need to include? (ex: Home, About, Services, Products, Contact, and more)
- Are there any special features that you’ll need? (blog, contact form, store/office location maps, chatbot, embedded videos, etc)
- Timelines & key milestones
- Your budget
Mapping It Out
With the scope being well defined, our next step is establishing your site’s architecture, essentially it’s blueprint. We create an outline or flowchart to display the way in which your website flows from one page to another. In some cases, our designer will build out a wireframe which is an in-depth and highly detailed plan showcasing how pages are connected, which buttons redirect to which pages, and how the content will be laid out. While tedious, building out a clear map ensures there are no surprises during the design and development stage.
Content & Design
Now for the fun part. Once we’ve established the bigger picture of your site, we begin the content and design phase. Typically, we get the ball rolling with written content. For many of our clients, they need some support when it comes to copywriting. Speaking in the right voice and tone for your brand and customer, we work with you to develop content from your main page to your products and services, testimonials, and FAQs. Should you already have copy ready to go, we skip that and move onto the design phase.
The visual elements of your site depend largely on your brand identity. Some of our clients are looking for a total brand refresh where we work with them in earlier stages to using moodboards and other forms of inspiration to find the style that suits their brand perfectly. For others, they already have their branding established – giving our designer colours, fonts, and an overall feel to work with.
Development & Launch
Once all the pages have been designed and approved by you and your team – we go into the development stage. Our skilled team of devs make your dream site a reality. Our team takes the site through a thorough quality assurance process – checking every page, every link, every button, and everything in between, making sure your site functions exactly as it should.
Once you’ve taken a look yourself and given us the O.K – it’s time to break out the bubbly.
If you’re ready to get started or have a few more questions about our process, let’s get in touch!
Senior Graphics Designer