The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team. (Phil Jackson)
This quote originally relates to basketball, but the essence of the message works for both disciplines, sports and web design and development. In order to create a top-notch website, it needs team effort from everyone involved in the process: from the project manager, the creative team, the tech team to the most important party, the client. Transparency, clear directions, and teamwork are the motor for excellent web design and development for startups. Let's explore the benefits of close collaboration to eliminate all the gaps and blind spots in the process and to reach a high-quality result.
The fastest web design and development we have ever created was within one week: we were able to work super fast because we had all the content available from the client. (Also, we did a proper startup branding exercise first, so we knew what brand elements would work best.)
However … usually the web design and development process for startups takes between 4 and 12 weeks, depending on the complexity and number of pages. Let's imagine the web design process just like building a house – it's a complex process with different phases. Each step is time-consuming and skill-demanding: first, you have to build the fundament, the structure. Second, you need building materials like bricks, etc., in our case the content and the copy. Imagine the design of the website like selecting the furniture and decorative elements. In the end, you have to put all the elements together to develop a fully functional and aesthetic web.
Why is collaboration so important for the web design process?
Collaboration enables …
Smooth information flow
In order to kick off the design process, for web designers it is necessary to have all relevant pieces of information about the brand. For tech startups, on the other hand, it is also crucial to have a clear understanding of what they can expect for their website.
We at The Branx enjoy working in close collaboration. By creating a transparent environment and using tools such as Figma, we keep everyone involved in the project up to date. This is not only true for web design and development, but also for branding for startups.
Easy implementation of feedback
Some clients like to give feedback as soon as they notice changes. Others keep the web design project on stand-by without providing their opinion. However, it is all about striking a balance between the two extremes. By collaborating hand in hand with clients, it is easier to communicate when, where, and how to provide constructive feedback.
This goes hand in hand with giving feedback and relevant updates. We need to agree on a channel with updates, feedback, questions, and content to avoid confusion and different team members doing the same.
Efficient time management
Especially for tech startups, time management is crucial as they are often confronted with tight deadlines, also with regard to their branding. With everyone pulling in the same direction, we avoid reiterations and thus can proceed more efficiently and effectively with the web design process.
Improved process and results
This close collaboration results not only in a lighter process but also in an improved outcome. We can reduce the total working hours, and implement changes more quickly and efficiently, whilst keeping track of every detail at every moment. All this results in a smoother process and optimized results. Furthermore, you avoid unexpected costs and drastic delays.
Efficient collaboration step by step: the essentials for different stages
Now that you know the beneficial impact of a close collaboration between agency and client, let's dig deeper into the web design process for tech startups and explore how we reach a transparent and hassle-free teamwork environment to keep everyone involved happy.
The brief is the most crucial part of the whole web design process, as everything discussed here will influence the result and web design is much more than hits the eye. We need to collect all the relevant information on the website's goals, functionality, target audience, and references; keeping in mind the branding as well. Also, for everyone involved in the web design process (project manager, copywriter, web designer, illustration designer, web developer) it is essential to be informed about the product and its benefits to create engaging visual and verbal content that reflects the product's USP. It covers the project from top to bottom, including audience, competition, and product. They will also analyze the rivals to find out what works best for the audience, whereas creating a website that sets itself apart from competitors. All of this will be in alignment with the overall goal of the website, whether it is a holding page or a more sophisticated website. Moreover, the brief phase is the time to discuss the budget, the project timeline with specific milestones, and the final deadline.
Branding and style
At this stage, we explore your current brand identity including your philosophy, mission, vision, and purpose to exploit it to the fullest. We need to draw on brand colors, typography, and visual elements to create a unique website for your startup that will be your most important brand touchpoint. Working with vague directions will delay the process, so it is essential to nail down your branding before starting with the web. This implies that we might enhance an already existing brand identity or help craft a brand identity from scratch. Regardless of the effort that your startup branding will take, our branding specialists make sure that it is settled before they pass it to our web designers.
Sitemap, content, and wireframes
At first, we need to construct the sitemap of your future website by deciding on how many pages we will include and how these will link with each other. Everything will be based on that, so it needs to be well-thought-out. We draw on the information on the target audience, product, goals, etc. to create the overall structure of your website. To achieve a user-friendly structure, several things need to be clear, especially content-wise: In order to know how “big” each site will be and what kind of headers, text, and visual elements to include, it is relevant at this point to have a clear vision of the content, including copy and imagery. We then are able to draft the initial layout of the pages and mockups, using low-fidelity wireframes to create a very clear image of what your future website will look like. With your feedback, we reorganize elements, always guaranteeing usability, responsiveness, mobile-friendliness, and accessibility.
As well as visual content, we also need verbal elements to get things going. You might think about catchy slogans and headlines, but one crucial part of the copy is to nail down the benefits of your tech product or service in one sentence. It is not unusual for engineers having a hard time explaining their product, which is what we are striving to avoid with excellent copywriting for your website. Rephrasing sentences, shortening descriptions, and putting all the relevant information in a nutshell while ranking in SEO might be difficult, but having the basic content is crucial at this point in the web design process.
We begin designing your homepage, which serves as the master layout for your website. We polish the copy and create simplified product illustrations that communicate your value. Especially tech startups need to create an excellent first impression via their homepage and understand the product benefit right away. Also, to generate an impactful first impression and to establish harmony, the artwork for header, footer, and hero areas is immensely important. Visual and interactive branded elements like icons, buttons, and controls might seem like tiny details of the user interface, but their design makes a huge difference. To proceed quickly, close collaboration is crucial at this point. Design features, styles, and elements that will create the entire aesthetics and general atmosphere need to be approved. Once you’re happy with the main layout, we apply it to the rest of the website.
To start the development phase, you must approve the design of your website. When developing your website, we strive to avoid reiterations, meaning that the approved design will be the final look and feel. Then we can include animations, simplified product illustrations, and microinteractions. Of course, it is a world of a difference to see the screens linked up, therefore some changes might be necessary. At The Branx, we use the CMS Webflow for optimized results and unique, functional websites for startups that are easy to scale and secure. It also allows us to create great digital experiences with engaging animations.
Testing and optimizations
Before we hand the website over to our client, we make sure that it is functional, user-friendly, responsive, accessible, well-performing on speed and other metrics, and of course, search-engine-optimized. What is also important is checking the legal pages in terms of data protection and privacy: this is where clients have to provide us with the necessary information on the legal requirements for their country. For example, on websites for European startups, we integrate consent management platforms that are GDPR compliant. Also, there is the possibility to add Cloudfare integrations for additional security or create your multilingual website via Weglot.
Launch and handover
3, 2, 1 … now it is time to go live! We make sure the launch of your website is a piece of cake. Additionally, we provide your marketing team with all the necessary information on how to run the website smoothly. By doing so, tech startups will be able to make changes and adapt the content on their website easily without struggling.
Another aspect that is definitively worth mentioning is: keeping it real. If you are a small startup in the product development phase, we recommend you limit your digital home to just a few pages. By doing so, the web design and development process takes less time and you are able to drive your brand communication earlier. Once you know exactly what you want to communicate to the world, we can add further content and elaborate your website, always keeping in mind your branding.
To sum up, the input is what determines the output. Not only providing content but also giving constructive feedback on time. Web design and development for tech startups is a team effort and to create an engaging, fully functional website that convinces your target audience of your product, both sides need to give everything in each step. Every website has a dozen crucial components that should thoroughly be polished: this is why everyone involved in the project should understand the complex process behind it. That way you make the collaboration effective, avoiding confusion, delays, unexpected costs, and disappointment.