If you've never worked with a design firm before, don't worry. Our procedures are straightforward and flexible enough to make the process easy no matter what your background.
It's important to remember that we offer a true design service, in contrast to the limited email only design by numbers services offered by many web based companies. Whereas these other services may offer only initial concepts and then amendments to these (but no new ideas if you don’t like the first ones), we will always be as accommodating as possible to meet your requirements. To us a satisfied client is only good business sense.
Whilst the following process is suitable for the majority of clients and project types, we appreciate that there will always be those that require a different approach, and we're always just a phone call away for any such requirements.
Introduction & Briefing
Tell us your plans and your budget and we'll create a schedule to match
At this early stage it's a chance for us to meet and discuss your business and your overall goals for the project. It's the time for you to ask questions of us (and for us to fire lots of questions at you!)
Whatever the nature of your project, it's vital that we understand your business and requirements before we begin. We need to know where you are now, and where you want to be. Briefing is usually completed following initial discussions about your requirements and, where appropriate, the completion of a short questionnaire.
We'll also arrange to collect any materials that you feel are appropriate and carry out research as required. Once we have your instructions and all relevant information our designers will commence work on creating a plan with a proposal.
What we'll cover...
- Your overall goals– what type of website do you want and what you want it to do? (For example – do you want to sell products online? Create a staff training website? Build a recruitment portal?). We may be able to suggest ideas and functionality that you haven't yet considered.
- Your customers – who are you trying to reach? What do you want visitors to do when they arrive at your site? What kind of functionality will they expect?
- Your expectations – what are your aims for the project? For example, do you want to increase sales by a certain amount, increase enquiries, or create a memorable user experience? If you have metrics you'd like to measure, it's helpful to share them with us.
- Special functions and features – do you have any extra requirements (such as social media functions or iPhone applications)? Perhaps you have to work with specific technology or hardware?
- Hosting requirements – do you need us to help you with site hosting or server maintenance?
- Your budget – while you may not want to disclose a specific figure at this stage, it helps to discuss rough costs. We can create bespoke plans and schedules based on your budget.
- Your timescales – do you have any deadlines in mind? When do you want work to begin?
We've built many large-scale websites (so we know the planning stage is crucial)
We'll map out how we see the project. We'll consult with our various in-house specialists and draw up realistic schedules based on their input. It's an essential part of the process, but in particular it allows us to draft an accurate proposal.
Once we've established exactly what you're looking for, we can draft a website project plan to make it happen. This enables us to provide you with the most accurate possible proposal.
Collect all of the information gathered from our initial meeting and discuss strategies with senior designers and developers.
- Assess your functional requirements – consider how best to direct the in-house skills we have and whether we need to call in our trusted partners (for example for video content, flash animations etc.)
- Factor in any technical specifications – for example, if your site needs to be compatible with a particular system, or if you need us to work on an iPhone-ready version of the site.
- Analyse your competitors – we'll run early checks on your competitors to find out what they're doing well and where they can be beaten in terms of functionality and user experience.
- Work out timescales – if you've got strict deadlines to meet then obviously that will affect our scheduling (if needs be we can arrange a staggered launch, with additional functionality added at a later date).
- User profiles and usability – at this stage we may perform basic consumer research, creating simple user personae which help us map out how people might navigate your site.
- Aesthetics – we'll consider your business identity, as well as any brand guidelines you may have. We may develop colour schemes and concepts as a starting point for discussion.
Get a free website project proposal from a professional web design company based in London.
Drafting an accurate, competitive website development project proposal
Our web development project proposal is the result of our initial meetings with you and the findings from our extensive planning process.
It's a chance for you to see that we understand your business and project goals, and for us to demonstrate that we can deliver the best possible results. Included will be
- A fixed price quote
- Accurate timescales
- Detailed breakdown of work required
- Further suggestions and ideas
- Support and warranty details
A full explanation of what you'll be paying for and what you'll get for free (such as post-build technical support) helps avoid any hidden costs.
Proposal will include…
- Project overview – featuring project goals, main targets for delivery, and key expectations. It's something both parties can refer to for the duration of the project.
- A breakdown of the process – with details of when first drafts and wireframes will be viewable. (We'll also go into brief detail on the technology and programming languages used.)
- Timescales – with realistic, achievable target dates (that are usually surprisingly fast). We've built enough websites to know how to create an accurate schedule.
- Compatibility and viewing specifications – for browsers, mobile devices and different screens. We'll also confirm the formats and resolutions of any logo and graphic files we send over.
- Training and consultancy – if you've requested further training, we'll explain how we'll liaise with you to make it happen.
- Full information about warranty periods and technical support.
- Hosting and website server maintenance details (if requested).
- A full, fixed price quote for all work (with detailed price breakdown).
A tried and tested development process.
The Web Development Process
If you give our proposal the green light, then the next step is our website development process.
Function before form
All of our sites are built from the inside out, focusing on how to make it work first, then adding the look and feel. At this stage we'll pool all of the knowledge gathered in the meeting, planning and proposal stages.
We'll then set out our schedule, focusing on:
- Setting roles for different tasks (from HTML coding to site mapping)
- The programming languages we'll need to build your site
- Basic usability principles
- Specific functions required (such as payment processing, subscriptions etc.)
- The content management system
Your online identity
Once we're finished with the technical specifications, we'll start on crafting your brand and identity. The web design process usually follows these steps:
- Establishing what you do and don't like. We'll look at a variety of sites and view any existing brand guidelines. From that we can get an idea of what you want your brand to communicate to your customers.
- We'll mock up some preliminary designs of your home page and several internal pages (you can choose what you want us to focus on). We'll then present them to you for approval.
- Following your feedback, we'll make any changes to our graphics and website design process.
Usability in mind
Once we have a clear idea of our technical and creative directions, we spend time examining site usability. For example:
- What will most users want to achieve when visiting the site?
- How can we make this as easy as possible for them?
- Where are they most likely to enter the site? (It's not always the homepage.)
- What do you (the client) want site visitors to do?
- How can we best encourage visitors to do this?
With all of this in mind, and with our templates and designs approved, the next stage is to create an HTML prototype of your site. It gives you a clear idea of how the site fits together, with basic functionality and navigation in place. Seeing your website live for the first time can help you decide what is and isn't working.
Final site build
The next step in the web development process is completing your site build. This includes adding any complex functionality (such as login forms, payment processing, forums etc.)
The code we write for your site will be Web Standards-compliant HTML and CSS – ensuring maximum accessibility, as well as high visibility for the search engines.
Testing your site
We test your site right through the website development process. However, at these closing stages it's time to run the website through three rigorous checks:
- Usability tests – is the navigation confusing? How about the wording? Are users performing the tasks you want them to do? We'll run usability tests with a selection of random users for best effect.
- Code, compatibility and coherence – we'll use link checking tools, run each page through the W3C code-checker, assess each page according to our own accessibility checklist, and load your site in every available browser, as well as various mobile devices.
- Load and stress-tests – we use software that simulates heavy traffic to ensure that it can handle the demands of life online.
Need website training?
If you've requested training for your team on any aspect of using your site, the Content Mangement System or web design in general, we'll arrange sessions at this point.
We ask that you respond to our drafts with your thoughts and comments and although we'll be handling the creativity, it's important to us to have your input as early and then as frequently as possible throughout the project. This allows us to understand your preferences to a greater degree at each stage and ensures our work quickly meets with approval.
This process of trial and improvement repeats as required until the project is concluded, which occurs only on your approval of the final design. The most important part of our service is our unlimited design policy, which means that whilst your project stays within the original specification you will be entitled to as many drafts and revisions as required to produce artwork to your satisfaction at no extra cost.
Our development team are the first to get involved with the build of any project. We believe in approaching web design from the inside out, taking a function-led strategy. We'll assess what we need to do to make your site work the way you want it. (The aesthetics come later during this process - and we take this just as seriously.)
Management & Completion
We keep things running on-time and to budget with dedicated project managers.
You'll be assigned a dedicated project manager for the duration of the project - and beyond. That way you have one central point of contact, which makes things much easier for you and us. Our project managers are some of the most senior and skilled people in the team.
We will provide your artwork in a full range of industry standard file types. Depending on the nature of your project we may provide supplemental details such as colours and fonts for your future reference.
In the case of logo design projects you will receive all rights associated with the final design. Other projects are normally subject to an unlimited usage license, depending on the source of the content etc.
On conclusion of an initial project we are always ready to discuss your on-going requirements and offer our further assistance where appropriate.
Web Development Project Management
Appointing a senior project manager to oversee your web development is the best way to keep things running smoothly. They can:
- Make sure your project stays within budget
- Relay any new information between our designers and your team
- Reduce the potential for confusion and miscommunication
- Bring up issues promptly so that they can be dealt with swiftly and with minimum fuss
- Keep the development process on deadline
- Keep the design team focused on your requirements and project goals
- Assist with on-going support after the build and deployment
Having dedicated web design project management, we're sure we offer one of the most efficient and accountable development processes of any agency.
You'll receive straightforward, technical support after completion.
Website Development Follow-Up and Support
At GenieCloud, we don't believe our job is done as soon as your site goes live.
That's why we offer straightforward, support and technical warranties on all development work.
We've built lasting relationships with lots of our clients who request ongoing support and training. (In fact, most of our work comes from repeat business and referrals.)
- Support and technical warranties
- Guarantees for all development should anything go wrong
- Training and consultancy for you and your team
- Bespoke support packages if you want us to manage your content updates
- Website maintenance and hosting packages
If you have a question once your site has gone live (even if you simply need a reminder about how a particular feature works), just give us a call. We want to help you get the most from your website, so we're always happy to talk.
We'll also check in with you periodically to ensure that everything is running smoothly. We're interested in your feedback about how your site is performing.
If you like what you’ve read and want to find out what we can do for you and your business get in touch for a free quote and consultation. We can even come to you!