The Design Process

1. The Interview

At the beginning of a project, whether it’s a new site design or a site upgrade, we start by listening to you, the client, and learning about your business or organization. If the project seems like a good fit for both parties, we will schedule a phone or a face-to-face meeting to brainstorm and discuss the project in more detail. We have developed a set of questions to help us better understand the goals you have for your site. We have found that answering the questions helps our clients to focus their ideas. This translates into clear objectives for the site design, organization, and functionality.

2. Proposal & Contract

Back Cove Midwives At the initial consultation, we usually have enough information to prepare a price quotation with a detailed outline of the scope of the project and the nature of the work to be performed. The contract will specify what media will be supplied by the client, the formats of these materials, and the dates that the materials must be submitted to iKnow. We can produce and edit written site copy, graphics, video, and other media for your site, if desired, and this will be included in the contract price. You can find our pricing information here. The project timeline and payment schedule will be part of our contractual agreement. Unless other arrangements are made, we require a 50% down payment before we begin work on your site. The balance is due upon completion of the project.

3. Design Phase

sherry_hoThis is where the fun begins! In this phase of the project, we create a visual layout to establish the look and feel of the site. This mockup is a non-functional representation of the site, and there is usually a good deal of back-and-forth with the client at this point as the design is refined.

4. Production & Programming

After a proof of the design is approved by the client, building of the actual site can begin. Graphics are created and added to the site copy. Multimedia elements are produced, along with the programming required for their delivery. A custom stylesheet is developed for your site to position the various elements on the Web pages and to encode all the attributes that make your site unique: fonts, sizes, colors, spacing, transparency, and much more. PHP is a scripting language we use to deliver the dynamic content on your page. This includes elements which are common to several pages on your site, as well as any data extracted from a MySQL database and presented to your viewers. If required, databases are created and populated with information at this time. We use PHP and MySQL databases for our sites built with the WordPress content management system (CMS).

5. Search Engine Optimization

And so your site can be found on the Web, we take great care to optimize it for search engine indexing and placement (SEO) during development. If nobody finds your Web site, does it matter how good it looks?

6. Testing & Validation

readingthebodyWe frequently test your site during production on all common browsers, on both Windows and Macintosh platforms, to make sure all is working as intended. Testing is critical, because although there are well-established Web design standards, different browsers implement these standards to varying degrees. You can be sure that a site built by iKnow will incorporate best practices and conform to the WC3 (World Wide Web Consortium) guidelines. We aren’t happy until your site works properly in all major browsers.

7. User Training

Sites built with our Content Management System allow you to easily update your site content from any internet-connected computer. Although these dynamic content sites take us a bit longer to develop, our clients find it is worth a bit extra to have the ability to manage their own sites — anytime, anywhere. If your site has managed content, we will walk you through the process of making updates until you are comfortable with the tools.

8. Public Launch!

When the site is finished and thoroughly tested, it goes live on your domain.