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 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. Your answers translate into clear objectives for the site design, organization, and functionality.

2. Proposal & Contract

After 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 time frame for completion of the project.

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

This 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. 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 the design is approved by the client, building of the actual site can begin. Graphics are created, compressed appropriately for web delivery, and added to your site copy. Multimedia elements are produced, along with any programming required for their display. 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, menus, and much more.

PHP is the primary scripting language used to deliver the dynamic content on your pages. 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 are delivered with PHP. PHP and MySQL databases are employed in our sites built with the WordPress content management system (CMS).

5. Responsive Design Completion

We build your website utilizing responsive design principles. With responsive design, the elements on a page are resized and rearranged ‘on the fly’ for effective display on different screen sizes, including iPads and mobile phones. At this point, we will test your site to make sure it is properly responsive.

6. Search Engine Optimization

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? Learn more about SEO.

7. Testing

We frequently test your site during production with all common browsers on Windows, Macintosh, and mobile 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.

8. User Training

Sites built with WordPress Content Management allow you to easily update your site content from any internet-connected computer. Our WordPress clients appreciate having 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 during a face-to-face or phone tutorial until you are comfortable with the site tools. We also create a written, step-by-step written user guide for each WordPress site we build for you to use as a reference.

9. Public Launch!

When the site is finished and thoroughly tested, it goes live on your domain. The site is submitted to Google and other search engines and you’re off and running!