July 21st, 2014 / 4 min read

Developing our Process

Posted By: James Blair

The process of making a website is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks any company goes through. It is challenging to condense everything you do and stand for into a matter of headlines that no one really reads, but everyone can feel. Even more so than what our clients go through, developing the guidebook to help them walk that path was equally challenging. Though still a work in process, it is important to know how we got here… and so without further adieu - here it is:

Start With Why

When you begin to think in this way, it seems so second nature - but getting to understand and articulate why you do something is introspective, and revealing. The reason we focus so heavily on the why, is because it is the crucial piece to any story, and ultimately - we are story tellers.

The idea of starting with the why can be traced back to a TED talk I watched many years ago (watch it here: TED Talk on starting with WHY) In it, Simon Sinek explains that companies must start with their why because it ultimately informs and influences every decision.

Strategy and Information Architecture

We know that creating a solid strategy is the key to a successful project. We spend a majority of our time with a client working through and creating the strategy that will ultimately inform the design decisions that we make. You wouldn’t build a building without the plans no would you? So its crazy to think that people buy templates or design something before understanding the nature of the content and the direction of the clients needs.

Information architecture and strategy go hand in had. Though this isn’t the glamorous picture that every client wants to see, the IA is truly “the good stuff”. Its here that we establish the frame work and structure for the user experience, the foundation which the site rests, and the first implementation of that strategy we spent so much time on. Once those two things are established, the rest of the process actually flows very quickly. Projects that go over budget and over time do so because someone didn’t solve an issue in the strategy and it rears its ugly head when its almost too late to fix it.

Projects that go over budget and over time do so because someone didn’t solve an issue in the strategy

Design and Code

We are strong believers that the web is a tactile thing. You can feel, touch, interact, and play with a website - because of that, we never show just a pretty picture mock up to clients. Our designers and developers work hand in hand so that the experience is truly built for the web. The first time you see the site with us, it is actually a site that moves, and interacts with you. This is key to our Agile Methodology. Because we go straight to the code, we aren’t limited in our ability to make edits in functionality at any point in the project. In fact we KNOW that there will be things that will change and evolve as a project goes on and have the flexibility to handle them.

Launch and Grow

What makes us truly unique is that our process doesn’t end once your site is launched. During the process, we continually document the features and changes that we’d like to see on the site. These are typically different ideas or methods to accomplish the goal, and though aren’t in the first version, could very well be the right version.

Good design is a feeling, but Great design in a fact

So once the site launches we use a combination of qualitative and quantitative analytics to asses how affective the site is for your business. We then identify any areas that we think could be improved, we design new concepts around them, and then we split test it against the original. Essentially we are able to make sure we get it right, rather than having to convince you that its better, we get to show you. And since we stay with you even after the site is “done” you can rest easy that you’re not stuck with a bad product that doesn’t work any better than the last one. It is truly a win - win situation.

Tags: Design
Posted By: James Blair

Before founding LionsMouth, James was the CTO and then CEO of Karbon Speed, which he sold in 2013. His experience building a digital brand, optimizing for conversion, and successfully growing the company has led him to go full time into digital strategy and optimization. His passion is to help companies effectively communicate their message online, and use CRO techniques to do it. James is a member at Watermark Community Church, and is an avid home brewer at Shadywood Creek Brewery.

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