Project: Turner Davis Coaching
Step #1 – Hold Kick-off Meeting
To kick off the project, I held a meeting with the firm’s proprietor. After a thorough discussion about her business and the services the firm offered, I asked why she wanted a website, who she thought would use it, and the types of information she thought they would expect to find there. We also discussed what type of image she was looking to project for the firm, and the types of clients she was looking to attract. We talked about the look and feel the website should have, and I asked her to collect urls for websites she liked.
I also asked about what the budget was for developing the site, and whether my client was happy with her current web host. We talked about the types of functionality the website would need initially, as well as in the future. I wanted to be sure the platform we chose would allow her website to grow with her business.
Step #2 – Map Site Navigation
Based on our preliminary discussions about content, I created a navigation scheme for the website. This enabled us to settle on the basic website structure as well as determine which pages / content would be necessary for launch vs. what content could be added later. My client felt that the sooner she could get her website up, the better, and that she would have a better sense of what she wanted once she could interact with the site. Creating a clickable prototype would have been really helpful for her but the lean project budget prevented me from going in that direction.
Step #3 – Choose CMS Platform & Theme
Because my client wanted something she could update herself, I chose WordPress for the platform. We briefly considered other content management platforms such as Weebly and SquareSpace, but ultimately decided that WordPress was more economical and offered a more professional-looking visual design. I then created a list of free, responsive WordPress themes that would meet her needs as well as have the right look and feel.
Step #4 – Write Content & Choose Images
After settling on a theme, my client set out to write up the content and choose images. She found that she had difficulty describing her business and writing to the page structure I had drafted. She saw her content as too interrelated to divide into separate pages. I understood how difficult it is to write about one’s own work (ahem), and agreed to co-write the text with her. My user-centered angle, concise writing style (from my guidebook authoring days), and outside perspective facilitated our writing process. I also helped choose stock images to use on the homepage that worked well with the firm’s colorful logo.
Step #5 – Get Site Up
Next I installed WordPress and the theme and began adding content. The theme worked relatively well from the get-go, but a few bugs and some light customization required that I create a child theme and a second style sheet. I also chose and installed a couple of plug-ins so the site had all required functionality and backed up automatically. My goal was to keep things tidy and easy to hand off, so I kept plug-ins to a minimum and limited my CSS customizing to the style sheet whenever possible.
Step #6 – Refine Site & Add Final Content
I met with my client to review the site page-by-page and we created a list of needed changes. We then wrote the text for the final pages, which I added to the site as well as making all requested changes. The final result was an attractive, professional, responsive, 11-page website, as well as a very happy client.
One refinement involved changing the three round images on the Homepage from photographs:
To images I created using Illustrator:
Step #7 – Draft Documentation
My last step was to draft instructions for adding content or making changes to the site that could be followed by a non-technical staff member at the firm.