Trusting a team with a new website design project can be a scary process. Your site represents your business, reputation, brand, and livelihood–in short, you. Often, you’re entrusting this vital project to individuals you’ve never worked with or even met in person. If you have the right team, though, your project can be a pleasurable undertaking. In this article, you’ll learn what to expect when involved with a web design project at Swarm Digital. Before we get started, know this:
- Your vision will be heard.
- You’ll meet people who want to help solve your business problems.
- You’ll help provide us with what we need to bring your site to life.
- You’ll experience responsive communication and feedback.
Your Vision Will Be Our Priority
Our job is to listen to what you want and execute.
Sometimes an organization knows exactly what they need out of a new site. Other times–and there’s nothing wrong with this at all–they recognize only what they don’t want, or that they want something different, or need an update to an old web presence. Perhaps they’ve had a negative experience with a previous development team and need to get back on track. Whatever the situation, we’ve been there, and we’re ready to perform.
A big part of that is establishing a process where you’re heard. We work before, during, and throughout the web design project to ensure your needs are met from top to bottom.
That starts with people.
You’ll Meet People Who Want to Solve Your Problems
Sometimes a web development team is a single person and a laptop. That’s not us. Swarm Digital is a vibrant team of specialists dedicated to designing, developing, and maintaining your website.
Who makes up that team of specialists? Broadly speaking, we have thinkers, designers, coders, writers, and checkers. They come in different configurations and titles. Here’s a brief blanket summary.
- Thinkers — These individuals are typically the first ones you talk to. They’re called Project Managers, Marketing Specialists, Brand Storytellers, and more. Here at Swarm Digital, we call him David. The ‘thinker’s’ job is to translate your vision to the rest of the team.
- Designers — If you’ve heard terms like flow, sales funnel, and UX Design, that’s what these guys do. They think about your needs–often with pen and paper first–and design what the site will look like, feel like, and do. They connect your branding to color, philosophy to messaging, and needs to user experiences.
- Coders — also called developers, Coders take the designer’s work and translate it into a functioning website. Some questions that keep them up at night: how does the site work in multiple browsers? How does it appear on smartphones and tablets? Is product ordering intuitive and straightforward? Can the user just click a button for directions to your business? Matt’s our Techie-in-Chief at Swarm, and he’s an absolute beast at it.
- Writers — make words sound good.
- Checkers — We call it Quality Assurance. Final checks play an essential role in a web design project. They make sure all the links work, verify the site is accessible on all devices—whether on a desktop computer or a smartphone–and more. Often, these guys go through checklists that are hundreds of items long. Quick note: we also offer a 30-day limited warranty along with paid ongoing maintenance packages.
You’ll Be Asked for Resources So We Can Share Your Brand With the World
Even the best web agencies are run by people. They don’t live your brand or business as you do, haven’t bled for it as you have. They don’t understand your personality, values, region, or competition. They simply aren’t you.
Because of that, the web design project is a two-way street. We, the design team, want to know you inside and out. It helps us create a site that’ll generate clients or sales–or resolve the business challenge that results in you needing a site.
How to do that effectively? Often, the process begins with a form. Some call it a brief; we call it a Web Design Guidance Form. It then continues through discovery calls, resource-gathering (we’ll list some basics on that below), and continued communication.
Let’s start with the Web Design Guidance Form.
What is a “Web Design Guidance Form?”
A Web Design Guidance Form contains info and resources about your site needs. It helps your web team understand your needs, who you are, and what you expect from your new website.
At first, you might be intimidated or even frustrated by all that the form asks for. But stick with it! Put the effort in, and it’ll be easier for us to knock it out of the park and provide the web experience your customers or clients desire.
Elements of a Web Design Guidance Form
Here’s an overview of some of what’s covered when you or your team fill out Swarm’s Web Design Guidance Form.
- Business Overview – One of the critical questions Swarm Digital asks is, “Who are you?” You’ll outline your business, the products/services you provide, history, and anything that would help us understand your personality and values, product or service, goals, and desires.
- Website Objectives – What features does your website need—will it contain an online shopping experience, click-to-schedule-an-appointment, etc.? What key pages should be included? What do you like or dislike about your current site? What features are on your wish list? Do you have methods of generating traffic you’d like to be included?
- Target Audience – Who is your ideal customer, and how can we design your website to connect you with them? Target audience information is vital. It can define website elements like color, the type of language our content writers use, and how the site’s sales funnel is designed.
- Competitors – Make as comprehensive a list of your competitors as you can. What do you like about what they do? What can’t you stand about them? What do you wish your new website did better than theirs?
- Logistics — What’s your budget for your website design project? When do you want the website to be completed?
- Additional Services — Will you be utilizing any of Swarm Digital’s value-added services, including branding, graphic design, hyper-local SEO, social media marketing, and more? Let us know.
Other Resources Needed for a Website Design Project
Once we put the web design team to work, they’ll need everything possible to ensure the site reflects who you are. You might be asked for a lot of files.
Why? Imagine a website that is sharp, professional, and inviting. Now, you click on the “About” page of the site. You want a sense of the people who run the business. When you do, you’re greeted with a beautiful bio, a superb layout, and . . . a poorly lit picture of the CEO, a selfie that might have been taken outside a dance club.
Immediately, you’re turned off. There’re a ton of details that can take you out of a website in the blink of an eye: a beautiful logo that appears pixelated and distorted, inaccurate writing, missing or incomplete information. We want to use every graphic, bit of branding, and bio to make you look fantastic.
A quick note about access: sometimes we’ll ask questions you don’t know the answer to–things like who’s hosting your site, what platform it was built on, who the domain name registrar is, etc. If you don’t know, we can help. That might mean reaching out to your previous website provider and asking the right questions on your behalf. No worries–that’s our job.
Here’s some of what we might ask for during the website design project:
- Access – We will need to log in, or be granted acceptable access, to all of the platforms related to your website: hosting, domain name, Google My Business, social media sites, etc … (Don’t worry if you don’t think you have these things. This is a common problem we resolve all of the time).
- Branding – If there’re existing graphics or documents with brand logos, flyers, etc., they’re often helpful to our designers, even needed. If you have those resources ready, that’ll speed us toward producing the site you want.
- Bios and History – We want to tell your story. Bios, staff pictures, and company history help us do that.
- Pictures – As a general rule, we like to obtain as many pics of your business as we can. While we won’t use them all, they help us understand your environment, personality, values, atmosphere, and more intangibles.
- Logistical Stuff – As the web design project continues, especially as it gets closer to completion, we’ll request information essential to finishing the site: links to social media accounts, website domain transfer information (if applicable), email provider information, and other sundries.
You’ll Receive Updates and Provide Feedback
At Swarm, we realize the importance of communication. We work hard to establish clear expectations upfront, continue them throughout our team-driven design process, revise according to your needs, and follow through. We pride ourselves on our availability, responsiveness, and speed on every website design project.
You’ll Have a Web Presence You Love
We recognize that putting your brand in a web designer’s hands can be tension-inducing. All that you’ve put into your business–the hard work, the reputation-building, the blood, sweat, and tears–deserves to be reflected beautifully in your internet presence.
At Swarm Digital, we’re here to help. We do it all–web design, branding, social media marketing, curated content, and more. Our team of experts and specialists will work hard, from discovery to design to review and revision to final execution, to ensure your site helps resolve your business problems.