Design Firm Overview
92 West was started by two brothers in the Summer of 2000 with a goal of creating a passionate and pragmatic thinking design studio. Our marketing experience and innovative design help our clients realize the full potential of their vision and assist in achieving their marketing goals.
As we’ve grown and have developed our web design / development process it became very apparent that the source of our success was with our project management. We always make sure that we have a well-defined plan for every project; before we put a pen to paper to start concepts. This has proven true with both the large database projects and smaller web design / development projects. The following items will help you in your own projects and will also let you know where we are coming from as well:
Planning. Concepts. Marketing:
Begin with the end in mind. It’s a simple thing to say, but a great deal of people in business keep their vision on the narrow rather than seeing the bigger picture. Do you already have a short tag-line or welcoming text? What attracts customers to your product and how is your business unique? Can you describe your target demographic? What’s your compelling “call-to-action”? Remember, your audience should have a clear action to take when visiting your site.
Do you have a detailed plan? Do you need help developing one? A good start on any web or interactive project would be to create a list of pages that you’ll want the consumer to see and make those pages into a site-map. Follow the site-map up with a flowchart and you’ll find that, upon examination, your team will see potential problems and will be able to solve them before you hire a design firm to assist.
The time required for planning, concepts and overall strategy will effect the overall cost and success of the finished product. Truly, it’s imperative that your decision makers are chosen and that they are all on the same page. Have your team establish a firm start and end date. Typically 30 to 90 days is a fair expectation when creating interactive media.
Photography. Graphics. Copyrighting:
We live in a microwave world. Everything is made to give immediate gratification. If you make your website visitors “over think” rather than just “scan” they might just lose interest. Your site should be self-evident, points of interest should be obvious and self-explanatory. The message should be concise, direct and in-line with your “call to action”. If they are not on the hook yet… you have to direct your audience to the bait. Web pages should be divided into clearly defined areas. You may need some assistance with your information architecture (it’s a good thing to consult with an outside expert as we’re the people skilled with building the user interface). Additional items to think about is how you are going to drive traffic to products or relevant information… rotating promotions… testimonials… video content?
Another item to consider is why your demographic should come back? Do you give them a compelling reason? Is your text written to drive people and do your images and photography stir an emotional response? If not, it’s wise to invest time and resources into creating or finding the appropriate solution. Remember… we’re a visual species… if it’s not made to inspire or generate a need we didn’t know we had… we’ll probably just walk away from it.
Web Design. Optimized Graphics. Award Winning Layout:
The design of the site is one of the most important factors that will influence cost, time and, of course, the quality of the finished product. Every design will be different based on the business type, region and desired goals for the site. Quality projects require a minimum of 8 to 20 hours from the time you call us to when we give you final and approved concepts. If you don’t know what you want to begin with the rounds of revisions can add hours to the project and increase costs. (We here at 92 West typically will have a fixed bid with the revisions written into the scope of the project… not everyone does that so it’s good to speak to the point of contact to see how changes to the concept will effect budget.)
Breaking it Down. Web Development:
It’s the process we take to transform the idea into the finalized web design and the site-map into a functional and easily navigated website. The process the 92 West uses is built on a solid foundation of skills in the areas of HTML, XML, CSS, AJAX, Flash, ActionScript, Databases, PHP and ASPX. The list can go on, but I think you get it.
Also, at 92 West we’re fortunate to have both sides of the house… meaning we can create an idea and code it to work. Make sure that your web partner can bridge both sides of the development process or you may have issues with the finished concept not being able to function. The final step in the process is putting the information into a content management system (CMS). Not everyone will want to spend the extra dollars to do this, but it will save you time and money in the long run. 92 West can build custom CMS sites with Flash or develop a site to use an existing platform. We’ve had huge success with Soholaunch, WordPress, Joomla, OS Commerce, CubeCart and Noahs Classifieds to name a few.
Please keep in mind that the more pages you have the more time it will take to implement. HTML pages can vary but 1 – 3 hours per page is a good estimate. If your planning on a flash site it may take as much as four times that amount depending on the needs of the site.
Flash. Video. Shopping Carts:
Anything is possible in the realm of the web. Some items to consider:
Purchase / develop a robust CMS, include shopping cart options, database-driven applications, your payment gateway (PayPal, Authorize.net, PayPointUSA etc.), merchant account connectivity, flash content, video integration, social media, gaming applications or even micro-sites made for the cell phone specifically.
Programming and implementing these items into your site require a high level of planning that is clearly defined before an estimate of the time and cost can be created. The special features you add to your site will give your users that extra push to come back and will also give you the edge over your competition.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
People find you through search engines. Google, Yahoo and Bing are the primary entities to focus on, but there are over 250 secondary sources and literally thousands of smaller search engines that can help your audience find you. It’s important that your web provider has the knowledge and the tools to make your site successful and easily found.
Page name, title, key words, meta description and how the copy is written are key factors in SEO work. It’s also important to know that it’s a never ending struggle. Content is king of the web… it’s a necessary task to keep your copy refreshed and perhaps build additional links back to your site. A good way to build links is to have a company blog and start a twitter or facebook account. Make sure that you include relevant links to your products. A little time each week will garner huge results.
Testing. Training. Launch:
Small and large web projects need to have testing done. Verify that all of the links work. Web developers will also verify that the code functions on multiple browsers, different systems (PC, Mac & Linux) and that your hosting server can handle the bandwidth / traffic that your site will demand.
Training your employees on the site’s content and CMS is also important. If you have a specific individual that is going to handle the content updates of your site then that person should be trained and maintain that knowledge by continuing to update content regularly.
Launching the site… the moment you’ve waited for! It’s exciting. It’s new and going to be wonderful. You’ll have to make sure that you have all of your domain name information pointed to the right server. Also, people who need e-mail accounts should have them built and be given the ability to access the information. It’s also important to know that if you have a new domain name it may take awhile (30 to 90 days) for search engines to list your site after you have submitted it.
92 West :: Design with Impact
The measure of our clients success is the ruler that we use to gauge our own — we design to impact and strengthen your customer relationships. We are the best value you’ll find for your graphic or web design needs as well as SEO, Social Media and Brand Strategy and would be happy to quote on your next project. Please contact us at 402.677.6241 or fill out our request for proposal form.
13504 Stevens Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68137