Design – Product or Process?
Creating a new brand is a serious undertaking. It has to truly reflect your product, your values and your objectives. A logo and website that grabs a customer’s attention and makes them want to find out more is an invaluable sales tool. To do this properly takes time and communication.
Good design is pretty to look at, but great design fulfils a requirement as well, it sells the product. It needs to be attractive, functional and effective. There is no point creating a product that looks pretty if it doesn’t do the job. Therefore design should be a process of understanding the needs of the client, the end user, and the designer. The best final product will be a balance of all of these and therefore the needs of each must be communicated and understood.
A proper design process breaks down a large project into manageable chunks. Feedback at every step is important so that both the designer and client have the same expectations.
Over time we have developed a six stage process which we work through with every new client to fully understand the requirements of the job. This creates a detailed process which hopefully results in the best final product.
Our six stage process:
First we work on the design brief – either by a questionnaire, over the phone or face-to-face. We need to know your objectives, what are you hoping to achieve with the new design is vital for us to understand. A website that is focussed on the image of the company is very different to one being used to drive sales.
It’s also useful for us to know who your competitors are, we can then research what they are doing in order to help you stand out from the crowd. Your target audience is also something that’s important, a website aimed at 18-25 year olds will have a different look and feel to one aimed at an older generation. Also covered will be your desired timeframe and budget.
Once the requirements and expectations have been agreed we draw up a detailed Contract Agreement. This outlines the scope of the project and includes what we will supply, the project plan on a timeline, and what you will provide us with for instance copy or images and when. We also supply a site diagram or wireframe so that you can see how the pages will link together.
We start with the ‘look and feel’ of the site. This is where we present you with several ideas for the Home Page design. When you are happy with the chosen style we move onto the rest of the site, getting your feedback at every stage.
We then code the designs into HTML and CSS integrate it into a Content Management System (CMS) which is the interface you can use to add and edit content on your site. Content is then proofed and added. We make sure the site will be Search Engine Optimised (SEO) and analytics added so that you can monitor who is visiting and what they are looking at
While the site is still on our server we test it thoroughly on all types of device and browser. This is something we spend a lot of time on, it is essential that your website looks good on not only PCs but also on Macs, mobiles, tablets and so on. We also check that it appears the same in all the different web browsers so that every customer will have the same experience. Then we make sure all the links and forms go where they should and that the speed and search engine key words are correct.
This is the fun part where we show you the final result. You will be shown exactly how the site works and given training on how to add and edit content. We then move the site live onto your domain and off you go. If there are any problems you have a 30 day period from the is date when we will be on call to fix any issues that might arise. After that we can arrange a maintenance contract to keep the site updated if required.
So good design requires a detailed process to achieve the best end product. If you have any questions about this we are always available to answer them.
Can we assist with your project?
Here at Pixel 9 Design we are passionate about all things design. We specialise in minimal, uncluttered design for websites and brand identities. If you would like to discuss a project please get in touch so we can give you a free quote.
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