[thelist] Web design presentation process

Paola Kathuria paola at limitless.co.uk
Sun May 27 14:58:56 CDT 2001

Michael Lovitt asked:
> [about the web design process]

This is what I aimed to do (for non-database sites) when I worked
as a web producer at my previous company.

1) Define requirements
1a) 1-2 day requirements meeting with client & representatives
    of typical users (6 people max)
1b) write requirements document and flesh out site structure  (e.g., 
1c) distribute and tweak site structure
1d) finalise labelling [invoice for requirements document]
1e) create a functional prototype to test content and
    navigation [invoice for prototype]

2) Graphic design
2a) brief graphic designers (same office but a separate company)
2b) initial ideas - ~5 design routes as marker sketches -
    the home page, 2-3 section pages and a sub-section page
    are shown for each route - initial ideas are presented at
    a meeting
2c) client submits comments & change requests (within 24 hrs
    if not at the meeting)    [invoice for initial ideas]
2d) design development - work up chosen route (or combination)
    on screen.  presented on screen and as colour print-outs at
    a meeting.
2e) client submits comments & change requests (within 24 hrs
    if not at the meeting)    [invoice for design development]
2f) production - imagery of chosen design route fully developed
    by graphic artists - create all graphics for the site
    [invoice for design development]

Meanwhile 3) Copy production
3a) brief copy-writer if using own writer or advise client on
    writing copy for the web.

4a) mark-up home page, a section page and sub-section page 
    with final graphics and draft copy - get client feedback
4b) create web site with draft copy
4c) full site review & testing
4d) one batch of final changes (copy and images)
4e) final testing
4f) launch
4g) register with search engines/directories
[production invoice]

5a) document style guide and maintenance manual [invoice]
    (if we weren't doing the site maintenance)

Changes beyond those already allowed for are charged on
a time & materials basis.

To put this in context, for non-database-backed sites, 80% of
the cost would typically go on the graphic design.  The process
took 12 weeks and would involve a team of about 5 people.

Even though we build in lots of review stages, the process is
still idealised.  Invoicing is against deliverables; however,
if we do 90% of a deliverable but the client delays completion,
we can't invoice.   I wondered whether to add something to the
Terms to say that invoice is based upon completion of
deliverables or when they were due (if they're delayed due to
circumstances beyond our control).  Anyone else tried this?

Finally, the most common reason for unexpected changes (in my
experience) has been when one person at the client company is
replaced by another or when a more senior person gets involved;
plans or designs which have come about by a systematic approval
process can still be thwarted by a company politics.


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