How to Bring Your Brand and Site to Life
3 Steps To A Great Website
Your website is part of a larger narrative, and the experience a user has on your site must fit into that brand narrative. Because of that challenge, a web solution that works for one organization likely won’t work for another. Rather than adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to your web site, you must think deeply and strategically about how to bring the right experience to life on the web.
Here’s how we help you do just that.
Step 1: Set the Right Strategy Work Session We begin website strategy by leading a work session with our client to determine their goals including those for design, project specifics, and desired user experience. We lead a robust discussion about audiences—who we need to engage, why each potential user would come to their website, what problems the website helps each audience solve—to develop a thorough understanding of everything the new site must accomplish. This discussion allows us to build a user experience tailored to reflect the brand, and a site structured to help achieve goals.
Step 2: Website Design DevLab Creative places great value on usability and functionality. We create a website that allows users to intuitively find and connect with your information. We are well versed in ADA usability requirements and keep the needs of all users in mind. We immediately begin developing the site in our development environment as a live prototype. This allows our client’s team to see how the site will look and work in a real web environment, while also allowing for faster development of the site.
Our process is one page at a time until approved then we move on to the next. We employ an agile web development process and continuously seek client collaboration to prioritize most important web goals We work in 2 week sprints working page by page until the site is complete. At the end of each sprint our client is asked to give feedback on the work. Once each page has been approved we move on to the next.
Step 3: Launch and Continued Support DevLab Creative reviews all updated and redesigned pages before website launch. In tandem with client staff, we conduct quality assurance tests to ensure the site is ready for launch. Website Launch We work with our clients to launch their new site. We examine what media may be useful to the organization as we seek to promote the site.
We work to develop a plan and announcement to create excitement and energy amongst supporters when launching a site. Ongoing Maintenance & Post–Project Support After the site has launched, we can provide support for website updates and maintenance. DevLab Creative remains available on an hourly basis or with one of our Security and Maintenance Plans for any required updates, support, or changes that are needed in the future.
Important Questions to Consider
1. What is your goal? Your website shouldn’t just make you visible online or inspire warm feelings about your organization. Challenge yourself and your colleagues to be specific about what your website will accomplish.
2. Who is your audience? As a nonprofit organization you should already have a solid grasp on “who is your audience”. As far as your website goes, here are a few questions you should ask. What are they looking for? What’s important to them? Once you understand their priorities, speak to those priorities—not your own.
3. What are your calls to action? What action do you want people to take? Just having a good feeling about you isn’t enough. Do you want them to call you? Make a donation? Getting very clear about what you want them to do will help you create a site that encourages them to do it. Sounds simple, right? Yet so many nonprofits think their website should be organized by program area or department. Don’t just list your programs and statistics about their success. Instead, clearly state the problem, the solution and how the visitor can take action to be part of that solution.
4. What’s your brand? If a new or updated website doesn’t powerfully reinforce the big promise you’re making, the site is working against you—not for you. The signals your website sends about your organization’s character come through strongly. That means your website should be in step with your organization’s values and personality. Content Management Developing content for your web site can be one of the most difficult challenges. We’ll work with you throughout this process to make content management as painless as possible and train you to make simple updates and posts. What Will it Cost? Every project is different, as are the fees associated with them.
Here are some estimates to give you a sense of what you might invest: Web Design $2,500–$8,500
Hopefully this blog has given you an understanding of the different elements of developing your website. Our goal is to give you the information to understand how to best build your website as part of a brand. We have worked with organizations and their website design and have seen it work. If you have any questions or feedback, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.