We will deliver major milestones and proofs via interactive meeting whenever possible. Where meetings are not necessary or possible, we’ll deliver proofs with notes via email.
We always recommend that your project team designate a member of the team as an internal “project gatekeeper” —this person will have the final sign-off on all proofs and deliverables, and serve as the main contact between our teams.
We use best-in-class project management software that provides real-time schedule projections at any point during the process. Our team starts each day with a project check-in and reprioritization of team members’ time, as needed, to ensure that timelines and goals are met across projects.
Kickoff, Discovery and Asset Gathering
We start every project by listening to your business and marketing goals, and create smart, customized solutions through a collaborative, iterative process.
During an in-depth kickoff meeting, we will discuss key audiences, competitors, overall content and strategy goals, and other marketing objectives with client decision-makers and the Windmill project team. Before and after the kickoff, we’ll also gain access to brand standards and assets, existing site analytics, sales materials, and any other relevant background materials. A separate technical kickoff meeting is sometimes held for further requirements gathering.
Strategy, Site Architecture and Prioritization
After project kickoff, Windmill will prepare and present a strategy brief, which outlines the key purpose and strategy for the project. This is followed by initial site architecture and wireframe proofs to gather feedback and facilitate a collaborative discussion to lay the groundwork for the user experience. This phase includes creating a sitemap, or hierarchy and organization of pages, and wireframes, or “blueprints” of key page layouts and page types. Unique features and functionality will be planned and prioritized in this phase as well for a more informed development spec.
After revisions and approval on the strategy and site architecture deliverables, visual design proofs will be prepared and presented for further input and discussion.
Where clear brand standards and visual look-and-feel aren’t established, we often create visual moodboards for review and collaborative discussion ahead of creating visual web design proofs. We thrive on happy clients; although three or fewer rounds of revisions are typically needed, throughout the planning and design phases, Windmill will iterate with rounds of feedback and revision if needed until your objectives have been met. It’s our guarantee. Development and production will begin upon visual design approval.
Web Development, Production and Content Migration
The development phase includes an initial development proof, our unique “early look” at a portion of the developed website on a staging site, including functioning navigation and mobile-responsive treatments, followed by client feedback, revisions if needed, and all remaining pages and functionality delivered in batches. Content is wrangled using unique web-based tools to facilitate an organized workflow, and varies in terms of Windmill vs client responsibility to migrate and style content. Training is always provided to ensure you can successfully migrate and style content pre-launch in a sandbox environment.
At this point in the process, depending on the elected scope, Windmill and the client team will be working through additional components of a website redesign, including SEO (On-Page Optimization), key messaging and copywriting, compliance-related functionality like accessibility and GDPR/CCPA compliance, and other project specific deliverables. Much of this work will have started throughout the process, but it all gets pulled together and integrated into the website during this production phase.
Testing, QA and Site Launch (Go-Live)
Windmill completes a thorough functional QA and design QA, alongside SEO pre- and post- testing ensure a successful delivery. As the site nears completion, Windmill and the client team will hold a final launch planning meeting and cover remaining milestones and approvals needed to hit a final launch target date.
After go-live, our team is readily available for ongoing marketing and maintenance needs and support, leveraging analytics and testing tools to ensure ongoing continuous improvement and evolution of marketing assets and strategies post launch.