Working with a Designer on a website

Behind the scenes of a project

I get asked often ‘what would we exactly do when we work together and why does it take at least 3 months?’
I share here a bit more about how I work with clients and show you behind the scenes before you see a brand and a website become public. Gennye Lion, has kindly agreed to share some of her process here.

My process is based on enquiry and collaboration

In a nutshell these are the phases of a typical project:

1) Discovery: words and images

This phase consists of a combination of questionnaires for us to discuss. I am learning what is at the heart of the client’s business and some of this copy will end up forming the words on the website.
We look at the structure of the business and the goals for the website.
We then do visual exploration (this is fun!) and plan the Photoshoot and the images that will be used on the website.
We work together on Pinterest, creating boards with all sorts of ideas. This is a very expansive and creative exercise– and can be very liberating!. From there I prepare a Style tile and a photography brief. This is not the actual website design, but an indication of colours, fonts and general look and feel. It informs the photography brief and it discards what client feels is not aligned.

2) Sitemap: Structure of the website

This phase is mostly strategic and practical as we dial in the goals of the website and how we want customers to journey through it. We guide them with clarity to fulfil their needs which in turn will match up to the results you seek as a business owner.

3) Photo shoot prep and Art direction

Website images are a fundamental part of the communication. They carry the energy of the client and the business. The better the photo shoot is planned, the greater the results. It is a fun, exploratory phase, and as you can see Gennye tried on lots of clothes and I did some funky comps to get a feel for what we were looking for.
We spoke to a few photographers, and decided to go with the gorgeous Cara Mia. I believe the client needs to feel comfortable and at ease with the photographer. It is an investment in terms of time, energy and finance and it is worth going with your gut!

On the day of the Photoshoot we were all laser focused and it turned out to be a fun, super productive day. I love art-directing website photography. It’s like story telling- communication in action to intentionally complement the words on the website.

These are the initial selfies that Gennye took to make decisions about what clothes to wear at the photo shoot. We weeded through lots of these to finally arrive to 4 clothes changes that matched the business aspects we were communicating. One of them was a viking costume!

Photos are back and wow!!
The initial ideas did came together with ease and we were blown away with the results. We intended to show different aspects of Gennye’s business: coaching, healing, light activator and speaker! She had a few clothes changes but we were so organised it all went very well indeed. During the photo shoot Gennye did an amazing job at tuning into each aspect of herself that we were working with.

4) Content– Copywriting

I ask clients to explore their own words and uncover what really lies within them, that heart-core mission of service they are here to manifest. I help clients narrow down their words, align them to their energy and create their tone of voice online. We sometimes involve a copywriter to improve and edit what is here which is the basis of the website content.

Putting the puzzle together

5) Design – Putting the puzzle together

We have been building up quite some momentum, and we now have a library of elements to create the website. Let’s say these are the building blocks. I can now explore the design a little further, refine and finesse.
Last but not least: Gennye Lion Logo creation!. I find that I prefer to design the Logo once we have done some work together. Why? it simply flows with ease and it is designed within the context of the overall brand rather than as an isolated item.
We are now working on Logo, collaterals for Social media and website templates.

6) Development and Content upload

Files get handed to Developer and I work with him to implement the Designs

7) Website review and Launch

We re-direct the old website pages to the new one, adjust and launch.

From vision to online presence

I love clients that are open to enquiry and possibility. In my experience a true collaboration creates results beyond expectations.
My goal is to help you position, create and build a brand and a website that are finely attuned to your energy. So that prospective customers can connect to your brand and buy with ease.