Our approach to web design and development projects
Building websites with a purpose - our marketing based approach
a) understand what your customers want from your website, and
b) identify your own objectives and desired outcomes
There is no great benefit in indiscriminately bringing visitors to your website. What is important is getting the right visitors, and then getting them to do what you want them to do when they get there... a successful outcome might be to make a purchase, get in contact for pre-sales help or service support, engage with you via social media, or join a mailing list for example.
But at the same time you need to make sure that you fulfill your customers needs at the same time - frustrated customers are unhappy customers, unhappy customers are lost customers.
Understanding what successful outcomes you need from the outset are critical to the design process, as this influences every aspect of the design of your site.
Essentially our approach is to break the development project down into three broad phases:
Phase 1 – Planning and Specification
This involves setting the overall parameters for the project, and our approach to this is to work with you to assess the business need for the project and set the objectives for the site design. Areas typically covered in this process could include:
• Evaluation of your strategic business need
• Identifying benefits for you and your site users
• Objectives and outcomes setting
• Feasibility studies
• Consideration of levels of integration with your existing systems (IT and business processes)
• Budgetary assessment
• Quantitative analysis of online target audiences
• Visitor projections, revenue and profit modelling
• Return on investment (ROI) and cost benefit assessments
• Positioning within the existing marketing mix
• Search term analysis and optimised site structure design
• Planning and budgeting of ongoing promotional requirements
• Preparation of technical specification and design brief
Phase 2 – Design and Build
Once the design parameters and objectives are established, we move onto the design phase. Some web design companies work up intial concept designs as part of the pitch (sales) process. We tend to try and avoid this, not because we're lazy, but because we consider that the site specification should come first.
Presenting a visual idea too early can have a negative impact on the creation of a design that meets the objectives identified during the planning phase, and can distract attention from the far more important focus on the right successful outcomes.
External designers, or in-house design?
What makes a great looking design is a very personal thing - "what one thinks great, another will hate".
Since 2009 we have been in a partnership with leading marketing communications company Juicy Marketing which gives us a great design capability covering all aspects of branding and design, and not just for websites.
But that doesn't mean that you are tied to using our in-house design team. If you have your own designers you want to use, then that's not a problem, as we are perfectly happy to work with them to create a website with just the right look for you.
Of course the project doesn't end at the design stage! Once the visual design is decided, this has to be turned into the HTML templates required by the content management system, and the system itself has to be installed and configured. Then comes the loading of your page content and testing and de-snagging. Finally onsite training for your own staff, and the site is ready to go live.
Phase 3 – Promotion
Once your new web site is launched we will handle the promotional needs for the new site, implementing the promotional plans set out in the project scope.
In many cases this will include a phase of intitial search engine optimisation of the key pages followed by visibility reporting and a period of adjustment. This might be accompanied by a range of complementary activities such as:
• An ongoing programme of deeper search engine optimisation (SEO) and reporting
• Pay per click advertising
• Online media placement
• E-Pr and E-Newsletters
The aim is that at the end of this process, you will have a website that is meeting its strategic targets and that is a working business asset rather than a patch of wasted cyberspace!