The design process...
There are a number of steps in the design process, from initially gathering information to the final design of your logo, brand, website or marketing materials and the maintenance of those to keep your business up to date, fresh and current. The exact process will vary slightly from client to client, but the basics steps are generally the same. Below I talk specifically about the website design process, however these 6 steps are applied to all areas of our design services.
The first step in designing a successful website is to discuss in detail your exact requirements, to produce a design brief that takes into consideration your budget. When the look and feel of your site is formulated, many things need to be taken into consideration, so this step is an important one, as it involves a solid understanding of your company and you. Certain things to consider are: What is the purpose of the website? Do you want to provide information, promote a service, sell a product? Who’s your target audience? Who are your competitors?
Through our discussion, I will then develop a site map for your website. The site map is a list of all main topic areas of the site. This will serve as a guide as to what content will be on the site, and is essential to developing a consistent, easy to understand navigational system. During the planning phase, I will also help you decide what technologies should be implemented, elements such as interactive forms, ecommerce, flash, etc.
Taking all the information I have collected so far, I will then determine the look and feel of your website. Your target audience is one of the key factors I will take into consideration. A site aimed at children, for example, will look much different than one meant for a blue collar business. As part of the design phase, it is also important to incorporate elements such as your company logo and corporate colours to help strengthen the identity of your company and brand on the website. I can design your company logo if you haven’t got one and need one. I will then create a prototype design for your website, this will be in the form of a .jpg image and will be what the final design will look like, I will send it through email for your consideration and approval. Throughout the design and development stages, I will give you plenty of opportunity to express your likes and dislikes on the design, communication between us is crucial to ensure the final website will match your needs and expectations.
At this stage I will create your website, this will only begin once you are happy and have signed off and agreed on the prototype design. I will create the actual, functional website, elements such as interactive contact forms, flash animations or ecommerce shopping carts will also be implemented and made functional during this phase. At this time, I will create a secure area on my development server where I will make your website available to view my work in progress. A successful website requires understanding of XHTML / CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) code that complies to the current web standards, maximizing functionality, as well as accessibility for as large an audience as possible. I develop every website to the current web standards and it is at this stage I include SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). This is the optimisation of you web site, adding elements such as H1 and H2 headings, Keyword Density, Meta Data - title, description and keyword tags which all help your web site achieve higher rankings in the search engines. As I go along I check compatibility issues, which include viewing your website through different web browsers IE, Firefox, Opra and Chrome, ensuring that your web site is optimized to be viewed properly in the most popular and recent browsers.
05 Testing and Delivery
This is the stage where I will attend to the final details and test and double test your website. I will check functionality of forms or other scripts, I will also check to be sure that all of the code written for your web site validates through The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) http://www.w3.org. Valid code means that your site meets the current web development standards – this is helpful when checking for issues such as cross-browser compatibility as mentioned above. Once you’ve given me your final approval, I will upload the website files to your server. I will then provide free SES (Search Engine Submission) to the top 4 UK search engines. Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.
Please note, that I can also offer domain name registration and web hosting services if required. Once your website has been uploaded to your server, the site should be put through one last run-through. This is just precautionary, to confirm that all files have been uploaded correctly, and that the site continues to be fully functional. This marks the official launch of your site, as it is now live and viewable to the public.
The launch of your website, does not necessarily mean the development of your web site is over. One way to bring repeat visitors to your site is to offer new content or products on a regular basis. I will be more than happy to continue working together with you, to continually update the information on your web site. I can offer maintenance packages at reduced rates, based on how often you anticipate making changes or additions to your web site. Please contact me for further information.
Whether you would like a whole new brand identity designed for a start-up business or a re-vamp of an existing logo design, Blake Designs will work with you to produce a distinctive logo that you can be proud of.
Blake Designs create beautiful HTML/CSS websites - that work! Every website is designed to the latest standards to ensure its accessible to all, highly functional and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is standard.
From business cards and letterheads to brochure design, Blake Designs will ensure that you look your best on paper! Every graphic design project we undertake is with high attention to detail, imagination and creativity, ensuring you get the best possible results.
A domain name is the name you buy for your website, it is therefore important to select a name that not only represents your company but is also easy to remember. There are lots of different domain extensions such as .co.uk, .com, .net, .org etc. What's best for you depends on what you are doing with your website.
Whether you're building your first website, looking for powerful and flexible web hosting without limits, or advanced ecommerce hosting, Blake Designs can provide a solution to make your website a success.