Development (Translating the design into code, Quality assurance & testing, integrating necessary tools)
Launch (Connecting the domain & SSL, Designing marketing assets for promotion, and Launch email campaign)
The why behind having these 4 phases and sticking to them like a holy book is that it makes the whole process much easier, faster, and smoother. So if you want a design tailored to fit your brand and audience, a smooth development process, and to make decisions that have an outstandingly positive outcome, we need to first discover and learn what we're selling and who we're selling it to.
This is the whole purpose of the strategy & discovery phase. Let me explain in detail.
Defining the ins, outs, and the in-betweens
We all want to jump to design, but it will be just a waste of time if there is no solid basis for what the design is trying to solve. The flow will be all messy and complicated, and you might have to scratch everything and do it all over again. This is why it is critical to have a clear view of how your solution benefits your customers and what your competitive advantage is.
This is why collaboration is important in this phase. We go over your solution, target market, and competitors together to understand how we can build a website that captures your audience's attention and get them to buy into your solution over competitors. And based on these, we establish your goals and move forward only when we both are confident and clear on what we’re building.
This process is done by asking a series of questions similar to the ones below:
How does your product help your clients? (Does it help them save time, and money, automate a process, etc)
What are the main sources of traffic for your website? (Is it paid or organic)
What are the different verticals you’re targeting with your product? (Different industries, “Energy, Consulting, Construction” or teams “Finance, Marketing, HR” or a mix of both)
What do your clients love most about your product? (Ease of use, UI design, Price, Scalability, etc)
All of the questions we ask help us understand 4 main elements:
How your solution work and its benefits
Who will benefit from it
Your customer journey
And your future goals and needs
Once we have full confidence that these 4 elements have been clearly defined, we can continue with the rest of the steps in this phase.
Next, we move to opportunity research. This step is where we focus on internally conducting our marketing and competitor research. It’ll help us look for opportunities and clearly define what’s needed to help your target consider your solution over the competition.
The Deliverable: A Strategy Guide
After conducting all the necessary research and stakeholder meetings, we move into drafting the Strategy Guide (Website Plan). In this Guide, you’ll find the following:
Defining the solution, its benefits, and features
Goals, objectives, and challenges
Target market research and persona(s) definition(s)
Competitor gap analysis and SWOT analysis that showcases your opportunities
The customer journey map focused on the Consideration stage
Branded style guide, so you know how the website will look like
Sitemap, wireframe, and information flow of the pages
How does the Strategy Guide help you?
The strategy guide is crucial as it will clearly map out the direction your website needs to take in order to achieve your goals. This phase will act as the building block for a solid design and development phase. Since it will lower the need for back-and-forth feedback, thus, creating a smooth transition across later phases and no wasted time during execution.
What happens next
After a successful first phase, we now have all that we need to jump straight Mid fidelity, or in some cases High-fidelity design. This cuts the time needed to design the website, no matter how big of a project it is, into just a few weeks instead of months.