The Design Process

Digital Process

A guide to great digital projects

I recently had the opportunity to explore and clarify the Design Process when it comes to creating online work. It's been an amazing process, I've worked in many agencies over the last ten years so I've been privy to workflow processes in both Digital and Advertising Agencies. Some places are great. Some have no idea.

The most common question I get from clients is "Why does it cost so much to do digital?"

It's a good question, and relevant one at that . Put simply it's harder to create digital content. Each piece of digital content is bespoke, unique. This doesn't mean much to clients as so much as a nod and a 'but why?' floating inside their head.

Talking through the Digital Process with a client is quite hard work, it's fiddly business putting together all this stuff and it's quite easy to leave things out. Which is precisely why I came up with this process chart.

Stage 1: Creative Strategy

The Creative Strategy involves a core Communications Brief to identify the needs of the client. Conceptual development. Information Architecture, including Site Maps, Wireframes and User Journeys. Reference material is also collected here, to help with the visual direction of the project.

Stage 2: Design

In the Design Stage all project specifications and criteria have been set. The Information Architecture will be completed and a full Design Brief is written up. Most of the design work will occur in this phase.

Stage 3: Development

The final specifications are defined and the project goes into development. During this time any remaining designs are completed on an ‘as needed’ basis. The build component is where all the development work is completed, followed by extensive testing.

Stage 4: Deployment

After extensive testing in a development environment, the project is dispatched and deployed to the live server.

Why does it cost so much to do digital?

You can now clearly see what it takes to create a digital project. Putting hours against each part of the process adds up, and now you can be accountable for the work you do. Digital isn't just about Design or Development, there's a whole bunch of other stuff going on to make it happen. All of it is billable.

Download the Digital Highway

You can download the Digital Highway here. Feel free to use it how you see fit, just make sure you credit myself if you re-publish.

© Alister Coyne - 2010-14

Digital Highway

Written 2010