Web Design: Keep costs under control

| Andrew Revoy |

Web Design: Keep costs under control

Web design is a huge investment into both your marketing and sales funnels. Many of us know the value of good web design, but sometimes the costs can balloon beyond what is reasonable. This Harvard Business Review article mentions how one in six IT projects have a cost overrun of 200 percent. It is not hard to see why managers and owners cringe at the thought of jumping into a new IT project when the risk is so high.

At 705 Creative we work with business owners to build brands and websites to match their vision and goals. We have developed a process that we believe helps to keep costs down while allowing us to bring out great design and fast, functional websites. Here are some of the problems we see, and what we do to keep costs reasonable, and avoid going over budget. 

Keeping Design Expectations Clear!

You may have heard, or said yourself: ‘I don’t know what I want but I’ll know it when I see it!’ This is one of the biggest problems in design. Stakeholders know vaguely what they want but they just can’t seem to form it into an actual vision. Most rightly assume that is the job of the designer, to take the vague concept and distill it into a workable design. The problem is that most designers don’t know how to fish out the nuggets of information from clients.

We have built a process to get our designers as much clarity and information as possible. I personally have seen that clarity saves time, and saving time saves money. This process involves first and foremost communicating the goals and results that the client is looking for with their new website. Sometimes it is as simple as updating a website to be more modern and secure. Other times clients want to drive more traffic to their funnels and sales team. 

Next we ask clients to send us examples of websites they really like. Whether they are competitor websites or just designs they have happened across. If they don’t have the time to do this themselves, or don’t know where to start, we will join them in a meeting to go over examples to get an idea of what the stakeholder is looking for. 

This gives our designers clarity when developing your new website design!

Developing a Web Design Process

Web Design is a dance between meeting goals and expectations for the stakeholders and the customers they wish to attract. 

Our designers take the current branding, and examples, and create a style scape. What is a style scape? It is an example of 3 directions to define the Styles, Font, Colour Pallet, and website themes that will be used going forward. We show it to the stakeholder and encourage them to share it with others. At this step, it is important to get opinions so that we know that the company’s staff and stakeholders will be happy with the design going forward. 

Once this step is completed we begin work on designing the website! First the designer builds the main landing page / home page to set the tone for the rest of the site. The Landing Page is vital to capturing and keeping users attention, and defines their perception of your business from the moment they land. 

Typically we spend a few weeks, up to a month in the web design phase, with client meetings set throughout to review and give feedback. It is important to get this step right before going forward.

Preparing Content

One of the biggest problems we have discovered when working with clients is gathering the content that will fill out their website. Images, video, text, etc. Clients usually either find it difficult to gather these or just don’t have the time. Which is why we offer these services! Copywriting is a huge part of the website design and development process. The text on your website both conveys the information you wish to show, it is also part of the sales process to direct customers and build confidence. 

Our team of copywriting experts work with clients, either using previous copy from their older website, or writing new content from scratch. We develop copy for all website sections and incorporate them into the designs pre production. This way both how the text will fit, and display are easy to see and can be adjusted before a line of code hits the browser. 

Revising as Many Times as Possible!

It is no secret among creatives that clients love revisions. Which makes sense, when you are putting your money down you want to make sure your say and opinion influence the final product. Keeping these experiences in mind we have integrated multiple revision steps into our web design and development process. 

With our design process, we incorporate at minimum 2 design draft meetings. So clients can review web page designs, give feedback, and review them again! We find this helps to reduce revision steps further down the line. 

Next we incorporate a three step review process when developing the website. Since most of the time the design feels different when they are applied to the actual site, we like to bring in the client to review. This includes two draft revision steps and a final development review. Usually we have the final development review or ‘Prelaunch’ right before the site is going to go live. At this point once the site is live, we leave it open for another two week revision period. This way, if you, your customers, or your staff feel that the site just isn’t lining up we can go right back at it and fix any design or development issues. 

Delays in the development and design sector can be a big problem, creating cost overruns and making the experience painful. We work hard to alleviate some of the biggest issues that come up by creating a thorough design and development process with our clients. So we can clearly define the goals and design the owners and stakeholders want. Produce a clear design that matches the quality and expectations of the customer. Aggregate and prepare all the content for effective website communication. While providing our clients the flexibility to revise and edit the design and development of the site without headache or uncertainty. 

If you’d like to learn more about what 705 Creative offers, or how we can help you improve your marketing, website, branding, and design. Connect with us today, we offer free discovery meetings and love to hear from businesses like yours. 

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