Here is an introduction and 5-step process to help you as we move forward with our project.
One: A Basic Overview of How To Get This Party Started
1. Review the info on this page.
2. I’m scheduling your project, yay! You’ll have a chance to review and revise or approve the schedule, which I’ll be sending to you within 3 days. We will both have deadlines. The initial deadlines will be defined on the schedule and subsequent deadlines added as the project progresses. If you’re late submitting content or delivering feedback, it could cause your project to collide with another. To keep my business running smoothly, priority goes to scheduled projects that are meeting the deadlines. We’ll both have an opportunity to review the schedule up front to avoid potential conflicts. And, of course, I’m flexible if you’re late because of an unfortunate life event (ahem, e.g., pandemic) and there could also be an option to finish on schedule if needed with rush fees if I’m available to work overtime or to outsource to some of my trusted subcontractors.
3. Keep an eye out for followup emails as the project progresses.
Two: Apps Apps Apps
I use a few softwares to streamline, organize, and secure our project. You’ll receive emails on how to use these apps on an as-needed basis. I will use as few as needed to keep your life as simple as possible. Below is a basic overview:
- ClickUp is an amazing scheduler tool and project management app that keeps me up to date and on schedule with every step of the project. If appropriate for our project, I’ll send regular emails with a link to the project status on ClickUp and sometimes you will even have tasks assigned to you.
- Google Drive is a cloud storage app that I use to share and collect files.
- 1Password has a team of wizards working 24/7 to provide us with a secure place to share login information back and forth. This keeps all your accounts secure and ensures I can access yours as needed and you can access the new ones I create for you. This also ensures you will have access to the new accounts I create for you in case something awful ever suddenly happens to me!
Three: Communication and Feedback
- Office Hours: I am on mountain time in Denver, Colorado. Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm. I do my best to take weekends off to adventure in nature or decompress and recharge unless we are working a pre-approved rush project together.
- For written communication, you can email me or text me. You can expect a response within 24 hours on weekdays (much sooner most of the time!).
- For phone calls, please use the scheduler so I can prepare and block an appropriate amount of time for you. Since a lot of this work requires tremendous concentration, I do my very best work when I’m able to block my day into segments. Schedule a chat here.
- Feedback: The format for feedback will vary depending on the project. You’ll be instructed where to submit it with each approval phase. On websites, once the design is applied to all the pages, you’ll have the opportunity to use an awesome live interactive feedback tool where you can literally click and comment on the live website. Very exciting stuff 🙂
Overall, there are a few guidelines that will really help to expedite the project and create the best product:
- Be Specific. Don’t be shy, tell me exactly what you don’t like.
- Don’t Micro-Manage. For example, instead of asking for a bigger font, let me know you are concerned that not everyone will be able to read it. This way I can solve your problem with my professional experience.
- Give me Examples. Send me links or pics to illustrate your likes or ideas. This is a great way to communicate with any designer!
- Keep it Balanced. I like to hear what you like and don’t like.
- Don’t Make it About You. Do you love playful script fonts? Me, too, but they are not a good solution for a lot of business designs.
- Ask Questions. There are no stupid questions! Please don’t be shy. I am eager to create the best product possible.
COVID UPDATE and Canyoneering Accident Update:
Just kidding!! – schedules still matter here at Evergreen Design Studio, but I am being more flexible on my strict deadline policies as we all work through this, to make your life less stressful. Everyone has been doing the best they can in these crazy times! Our project schedule is still based on “business days” M-F even though I’m often working on the weekends or at night instead of days, and you can still expect me to meet the deadlines I have set for myself.
Four: The Design Process
- STEP 1 – STRATEGY
A large and time consuming part of website design is in the initial process that happens before the design even begins. I research your niche and competition, strategize, form a plan, then define the goals of the site to align with your business goals. Form follows function! This stage includes a strategically designed sitemap, which will outline what the pages/sections are and where they will go. After approval on this stage, I move to the layout.
- STEP 2 – LAYOUT, CONTENT COLLECTION, & DESIGN
I collect or create content (photos, text), and create a moodboard.
Content is either collected entirely from you or created by my team depending on what we have determined is best for your site. Once it’s collected, the live site will start to take shape.
The moodboard is like a vision board for your website! It is a visual representation of the overall look and used to keep us all on course when we add the design to the structure. Once that’s approved, I collect content.
- STEP 3 – DEVELOPMENT
Once all previous steps are approved and completed, I’ll move forward with the designing of all pages, functionality and responsive code, making sure your site looks great and functions nicely across all devices and web browsers.
- STEP 4 – REVISIONS AND EDITS
Once the site is ready for final review, you’ll be able to review each page and we can make detailed edits until the site is revised completely. This is done on a site that is on the internet, but hidden from the public (a staging site), so all revisions can be taken care of before it goes live.
Five: Going Live
- Once the site is ready to go live, all unnecessary plugins, pages, images and backend files will be removed. The new site will be backed up and saved locally, should it ever need restored. Once live, please allow 24-48 hours for propagation to occur. Some computers will need to be refreshed in order to see the new site, though most computers will see the new site immediately depending on the wifi connection.
- Your website logins and all credentials will be sent to you. Though your logins and passwords will be saved locally, PLEASE SAVE ALL LOGINS FOR YOUR RECORDS AS WELL.
- Upon completion, you’ll receive a link to my “moving forward” process where you’ll receive tips and tricks on marketing your new website and also information on our Maintenance/Security Plan which is included for the first three months and I highly recommend for all my clients.