The design process can be daunting to undertake on your own, even if you are a professional. Especially if you are a creative, because we tend to just fast-forward to working on the things, instead of working on why we make the things and who the things are for.
Let us give you an overview of our process and inform you of some of the best practices we’ve put in place to make sure everything runs smoothly and is actually completed: on-time, on-scope, and on-budget.
Our main goal is to create a unique, engaging brand that communicates the authenticity and integrity of your work. Your brand showcases your creativity and values through your various mediums of expression (your offerings, products, and services).
Through our initial strategy sessions we can make specific decisions about organizing your website and content for ease of use and marketing best practices. We will factor in every part of your online presence, from brainstorming and ideation on design and content, to social media branding elements and other supporting asset projects (media, testimonials, collaborations, events, etc.). We look at the big picture as well the tiny details and we’ll give the project structure to help bring it all together.
The Discovery process begins with the Brand Questionnaire (download here), so we can nail down all of your ideas about your brand and the values you want to represent. After that, you will be challenged to create your unique brand philosophy. For more info about how to craft a brand philosophy, check out these tips we’ve put together for you here.
Together, we will determine the requirements of the project from a technical, creative and personal perspective. We will look at your projects and decide how they will be incorporated and displayed. We will take into account your e-commerce goals and marketing plan to account for the appropriate functionality for your site. We’ll then create a sitemap for your project and show where everything belongs. A sitemap is a numbered list of the pages and content on your website and how everything is linked together.
This process will inform how you will communicate with your audience. During Discovery, you’ll fill out our Dream Client Profile Workbook and our Website Copy Planner to help you refine your niche, your marketing messages and make sure your copy aligns with your audience.
Next, we will develop your aesthetic. Ideally, you want to be able to define your aesthetic in two words – to make it easy to communicate and for people to talk about you as well. You will create a Pinterest moodboard and bring together photos that communicate the color scheme, vibe, or inspiration you want to draw from for your brand.
Once we agree on where we’re headed, we will present you with options for your official Brand Style Guide. This includes the colors, fonts, patterns, that will be associated with your brand as well as a selection of custom logos and wordmarks for you to choose from. We can also design your print materials (business cards, letterhead, etc.) and your social media graphics, including your Instagram feed and even custom Snapchat filters.
Moving on to your website, we first create a wireframe and document each page from your sitemap in grey boxes and text to demonstrate the structure and placement of important elements on the site. We then layer in the branding elements, color palettes and typography that give each site its unique look and feel.
We’ll usually do two homepage design mockups in PDF format for you to chose from. We believe the reason why people love our work is because of the research we do beforehand, we collect all of the content for the site before design, and then we present a full and complete mockup, down to even the smallest details. We think its really hard for people to just envision a finished design, if you don’t show them exactly how it will look and then just make the site look like what they have already approved in advance.
After the design is chosen, we will build out additional matching page templates ie. portfolio page and contact page. All additional pages will follow the theme’s template. Often, elements can be mixed and matched between designs.
Once you select a design and finalize any revisions, we will build out a theme to match your design. It’s also important for us to set up a workflow process that will help you maintain your content over the long term. We will then test and demonstrate how page templates will render in major web browsers and mobile devices (i.e. iPad, iPhone, etc).
We will prepare documentation to help you understand and use your new CMS and site. We provide a 30-day warranty following the official “handoff” of the website, to make absolutely sure there are no bugs, broken links and that everything meets your needs. We’ll also provide additional support and training where necessary and take care of any bug fixes to make sure that your website is ready for you. We’ll make sure that the new website is submitted to the appropriate search engines and that analytics are installed and configured.
It’s really important for us to guide you through this process and be sure that your project launches:
We’ve worked hard to put in place systems and structure to get you up and running, so you can get back to creating! With this solid foundation, you will be able to seamlessly execute your marketing plan, launch new products and services, and build your ideal audience with a brand you can really believe in.
Be sure to download our free branding questionnaire and then email us at mail [at] arienneonline.com to schedule your free consultation.