Question 1

Can you walk me through your development process and our role in that process?

Like any professional, a good web agency should have a proven process they use when designing your website. An obvious lack of process is a clear warning signal.

Good response

We begin every web project with a planning phase. During this phase, we analyze your requirements, your goals for the project, your audience, and your content in order to create a plan for moving forward. During this phase, we will work with you to create documentation ranging from site maps and wireframes (often called “Information Architecture”) — blueprints for the project — to functional prototypes, depending on your needs and the complexity of the project. Once the planning is complete, we begin designing, and once the designs have been approved, we begin the production phase, where the project is actually built. Throughout these phases, there will be ample opportunity for you to review our work and provide feedback, so we can make any necessary changes to meet your project’s goals.

Poor response

We can start the work immediately, and we should be able to get some designs to you in two weeks. Don’t worry, we won’t need much input from you during the project.

Expert Tip

Remember that a website project will also require your time as well as the web professional’s. In the planning stage, it’s important to have the time available in your schedule to clearly discuss what your goals are and what you want from your site. Considerable time can also be taken up with the authoring of content; some web professionals can help with this. When the project begins (or before), you should make sure that you understand how much of your time will be needed in order for the project to be a success.