Are you curious about working with a web designer? People see the surface and think it’s only about pretty colors and photos but the truth is that it’s a much more elaborate process. Today, I’ll like to demystify the process of working with one so you know what to expect before hiring anyone with your hard-earned money. To do so, I’ll be using my recent blog design project as a case study.
My client D’Arcy Benincosa is a wildly successful destination wedding photographer who is also branching out into other areas such as coaching and motivational writing. After helping her to launch a series of international workshops called The Path Workshops, she wanted me to work on revamping her personal blog this time.
STEP 1: DISCOVERY – GOALS & VISION
The first step of every project is always to understand the client’s needs.
Sometimes this is something that the client is able to articulate clearly, sometimes this may not be the case and this is where a designer’s experience and even intuition comes in. Regardless, it is our job as a designer to ask the right questions and listen carefully so we can propose the best solutions. As a starting point, I had D’Arcy fill up a Project Questionnaire for me :
1. What is the main goal/purpose of your new website? ( eg. is this just for personal blogging or business? )
This is the place where I want to talk more about life and business than just the pretty photos on my wedding website. I really want to write more and become a blogger who can give great life and business and travel advice. It’s the space where I really want to attract my biggest readers and have as a home base for my webinar clients to go to and to market my online products and courses.
2. What kind of audience are you hoping to attract? ( eg. demographics, location, attitudes, values )
Think Marie Forleo and B School.
3. What don’t you like about your existing website right now? Is there anything particular you would like to achieve or improve on?
I think it looks outdated with the slider bar at the top and I need to limit the categories. I like the simple white, but I also think it looks generic and I would love to have some type of branding done where I can really have it stand out as me, yet still be simple, elegant and functional.
4. For your navigation, do you want to keep the same categories?
I will simplify these a lot, it’s my goal this week to narrow down exactly what I will be offering.
5. Is there any particular visual style/mood and feel you would like? Pls feel free to send me links of websites that you like.
One of my favorites is: www.goop.com.
Also www.vogue.com and www.kinfolk.com
To make sure we were on the same page, we then set up a Skype chat where we went through her answers together and I had more questions to clarify with her. Doing so left me with a clearer idea of her long-term goals and how it was crucial for her to build a stronger personal brand through her blog – where people do not just associate her as a wedding photographer but also as an up-and-coming business coach and motivational thought leader.