This morning we had a session which was a case study delivered by MadeByShape’s Jason and Andy. It was really interesting to see the process from start to end of how they deal with clients. They also gave us some great advice about applying for placements and sending portfolios off to agencies. One thing that has really stuck in my head from today how to present portfolio work. Andy recommended putting the best work at the top and Tash (our tutor) advised not over fill the portfolio with mediocre work. Choose 4 great pieces and use them.
My notes from todays session are below. As I said, there are some great points that Jason and Andy make when interacting with clients, but I think overall communication is the key to getting it right. Keeping the client in the loop I think is essential to producing a site that is as close to what they want as possible and also allows the client to express any changes they would like to make.
CASE STUDY - Web session
- Get to know the client - meet in coffee shop etc. Makes them feel more relaxed.
- Define the brief. Ask the client for references and particular ideas they have. Ask them for three websites that they like and don’t like. If parts of the sites they choose are bad then take those parts out.
- Client site map - get them to draw out a wireframe if they can.
- Research - Bookmarks, Sketchbook, Folders, Magazines, Print, Digital, Emails and Apps. Screenshot inspiration into folders and reference.
- Communication - very important! Keep the client informed on what you are doing. They may think you’re not working if you don’t keep in touch!
- Wireframe - Work out features with important features first. Think about navigation and usability. Do quick sketches first. Use Mockingbird wireframes.
- Initial design - Know what you’re doing! Don’t give too many options when you send in your initial design (this may confuse things more). Be relevant, don’t insert irrelevant content. Don’t use blank place holders, insert an image (stock etc). Sell your design i.e. nice images etc, even if you don’t have their images, use the best ones you can find for you’re initial design. Give a timeframe. Project management.
- Feedback - If you know what you’re doing, then don’t be worried about initial content. If they ask you to change something it’s not the end of the world! If you don’t agree with an idea from a client, tell them but give them a better alternative.
- Alterations - When project managing, also include in your diary for amendments. If you send a site when finished, send a few days before the deadline to allow for amendments.
- Design sign off - Once a site has been signed off by the client, any changes after this can be charged for as the client has already agreed the final design.
- HTML build - Development phase can now begin. Can show clients a preview as you go along, thats up to you. Just keep them updated!
- Templating - HTML, CSS then Jquery gets added last. Sometimes once done, upload to show client. Don’t add content just yet.
- CMS wrap - Check this server set-up, this shows any restrictions with code before you start. Constantly refer back to the brief to ensure you have all the features. Set-up most important features first. Wrap your Templates/HTML around your CMS code. Gather necessary plug-ins - this speeds up the process. If its a eCommerce job, make sure you keep constantly in touch with the client about payment, shipping options. Doubly check site thoroughly. Deal with developers to develop other areas of the site (e.g. Quick Shop in Sparitual and Event Basket on Legacy Events). Make sure the site is easy for the user to navigate the CMS and update their site. Think about what the client may put in their site.
- Content - Content then can be added. Check all pages link properly. Do you need to transfer info from old site. Contract - a good idea to have a clause that will add 100 pages free but then after that will charge extra.
- De-Bugging - After clients contents in the site, check for bugs. Check payment section works.
- Launching - Never launch a website on a Friday incase there is a bug as you may not be available over the weekend. Keep an eye on the site after launch to see if its still spot on. Can offer a 3 month free bug fix term.
Case Study - SpaRitual
Try and impress them by showing them nice images and show off a bit on achievements.
Should be minimalistic but busy.
Show interactions to clients by mocking them up so that they understand what the site will do.
Code the site function on iPad and iPhone.
Integrate easily with social media.
Don’t let clients think its up to you to get them hits on their site, you’re the designer - they need to promote themselves.
Automatic Google Sitemap submission.
Average website now renders at around 0.192 of a second..