Designing a new website is a complex process, and one that requires close cooperation between you (the client) and us (the agency). Both carry a unique portion of the expertise required to make the project successful.
Any client will know more about the brand and its goals than the agency they engage ever could. At the same time, we bring in the technical expertise and a knowledge of best web design practices. Merged together, both parties play a crucial part in carrying the project from start to finish.
Of course, this mutual and varied expertise can also muddle the waters of the project. We often get questions from our clients about the level of involvement required on their end. If you’re wondering about your role in your web design project, consider this your guide.
Engaging in Initial Research and Design
Your feedback and input will be crucial at the beginning of the project. This is when we plan out the strategic goal and purpose of the website, which will guide much of the work going forward. From an understanding of your audience to the types of pages and content you’ll need, your input will determine our direction for many the tasks going forward.
Having determined a general strategy, we begin in the design process, another area in which your feedback will be crucial. As we begin to develop the design themes, layout, and navigational aspects of your website, we will look for input on how closely the output matches your expectations and goals.
Participating During QA Phases
To be reliably successful, any web design project needs to include a thorough quality assurance (QA) process in which the design, navigation, and content is tested thoroughly for usability and technical issues. QA ensures that what should work in theory actually works for your end users and visitors.
Your input here will determine whether we need to go back for adjustments, or move forward with the host migration and publication of the site. At this point, we’re no longer looking for sweeping changes that could require a reboot of the entire project, but potential usability issues that need to be fixed before the website goes live.
What You Can Expect From Us
The close cooperation required in these phases can only be possible through effective communication. For us, that means keeping you in the loop about any items on which your feedback is required, as well as a more specific overview of the points in time at which we will need your input once the project begins.
What We Need From You
To effectively move your web design project forward, we need timely feedback to our requests that address any issues honestly and constructively. If you disagree or find an issue, let us know earlier rather than later in the process to allow for the possibility of changes. The more quickly you can respond, the faster the project can move along. Client’s participation is also crucial in trusting their designers to make the right decisions in areas on which feedback was not required, which helps the project move along smoothly.
Formalizing Involvement Through Service-Level Agreements
In working together on a web design project, the client and agency have to trust each other’s expertise and communicate efficiently in order to successfully complete the project. One way to ensure that will be the case is through service-level agreements (SLA), which formalize the client’s involvement in the project and help to streamline the process.
Our SLA will include both the scope of the work we will complete, and the level of involvement we will need from you in order to get there. Agreed upon on both sides, it will be the guiding document to create an effective website for your brand.
To learn more about building a great website design and your role in it, give us a call or send us a note today at Small Dog Creative 661-702-1310!