Company News + Web
Our New Website: The Process
November 19, 2020
As a design company, undertaking our own website redesign while working on client projects is not a simple task. Maintaining our client workload while trying to give attention to our own website at the same time was a balancing act – but not impossible.
We have redesigned our website in the past alongside client work, however our increased workload among the pandemic presented their challenges. By being intentional about our process and taking a piece-by-piece approach, we were able to design, develop, and launch our website through a team effort.
Planning For Design
We felt it was important to include our design team around the table right from the start, including our Project Managers. We had open conversation around what we hoped to do with the new website and what visual changes we wanted to see. We looked at other design companies we admire to see what they were doing, as well as made a list of things we wanted to accomplish on both the front-end (what you see) as well as the back-end (what you don’t see).
In addition to our open conversation, we looked at our Google analytics to see what users were viewing, how long they were on the site, and what popular pages were. We combined our Google analytics information with our desires and ironed out our sitemap and strategic content plan to match with our goals for design and functionality.
A Team Approach
Once our team put requirements and direction on paper and received leadership approval, we dove straight into design. We appointed a design lead on our team to execute the new design with the goal of gathering weekly to touch base on our progress, giving our feedback and critiques. A consistent weekly meeting allowed us to tackle our website design in manageable pieces while still maintaining our client workload.
As we worked through different pages of our design, we shared our progress with the rest of the company (Video, Marketing) to hear their feedback and make sure we were all on the same page. We took each department’s feedback and tweaked our design as needed.
Once all of our design work was done, we packaged our design files and uploaded everything for development using a digital product called Zeplin. We use Zeplin as our source of truth for all web and app design projects, which allows us to easily hand-off our designs for a developer or engineer. We handcraft both desktop and mobile designs to bring the utmost clarity to our designs and clients.
Testing & Content
After our website came out of development, we inserted the content we had ready and began to test the website across multiple browsers and devices (phones, tablets, etc). Testing generally takes a few days between finding initial errors or functionality concerns. Since we were prioritizing our client work over our own website, testing took a bit longer than it normally would, as well as inserting content.
A large portion of our time involved adding new work to our outdated portfolio. We needed to write brand new content for all of our work projects, as well as create images of our finished and in-process work. Knowing our work pages were one of the most visited areas of our site, we felt it was important to spend a fair amount of time perfecting these pages.
The Launch Plan
When launching a new website, there are many things to consider:
- When will you launch?
- How will you announce your new website?
- Will you archive your old site?
- Is your hosting staying the same?
- What do you do with existing data and form contacts?
- How do you override old links?
- When do you update social media?
- Do you need to import old content?
Launching our new website was not our first rodeo, but we had a fair amount of things to consider and plan for. We made a list of social media platforms to update, as well as planned blog posts to follow up with our launch with. We planned a silent launch on a Friday (not announcing it) so we could allow the site to propagate throughout the weekend and shore up any errors or issues that arose. We update profile images and descriptions across our social media platforms and also planned to send an eblast the following week (check your inbox!).
It is such a great feeling to have launched our new website and get a new digital “start”. There are many features about our new site we planned for and love – our final post in this series will highlight those features and what makes them unique to our website and who we are as a company.
Is it time to update your website? Let’s talk and see how we can help.