The Creative Process
When producing a website; the same general creative process is followed each time.
The first stage, called the Planning Stage at Mouth Media, involves asking the client to answer a detailed questionnaire. Upon receipt of the completed questionnaire, a discussion takes place between the client and the Creative Director. Many topics from colour to layout to content are discussed and the key points are identified. Key points include the main purposes of the website and how they relate to the target audience.
Once the overall project is generally understood, the information is compiled into a document called a Creative Brief, which is then passed on to the Designer.
All Designers constantly have ideas running through their heads and often browse through website design galleries for additional inspiration. A great example is www.cssmania.com, which highlights new websites that have a unique quality. From browsing through sites like these, the Designer gains an impression of new trends that can spark a new creative direction.
Sometimes an idea session is necessary where a group of key players in the project (Designers/Creative Director) sit together and brainstorm possible ideas to pursue. All of these ideas are then organized and can produce a specific direction for the Designer to take.
Once a direction is established the Designer works at creating the first design mockup for the client to review. A mockup is simply an image placed online and resembles an actual website. The purpose of this is for the client to understand what the design would actually look like in a browser window.
The client then goes through and makes notes of likes and dislikes. The Designer reviews the feedback and applies it to the design bringing in additional new ideas as well.
Once the design is approved, the Designer beings the final stage, the Production Stage where all content is added and the completed website goes live.