The designer has convinced the client who wants a new blog that he or she can perform a superior job in creating a blog that is attractive, user friendly, branded well and ultimately one that promotes/sells the client’s service(s). Great! Now a contract must be implemented to assure that both parties know what is expected of each other.
The contract can include such items as a time table for completion, how the designer is to be paid for services rendered (hourly, contract, etc.), and things the finished blog will include such as pages, copy animation, stock photography, etc.
A payment plan should also be set up. Often times a client will pay a certain percentage upfront and then the rest when the blog is complete. Rights to the blog would also be made understood here. Generally the owner of the blog; the client, has full rights.
Contracts can be very simple or more complex depending on the amount of legal fallbacks that may be put in place in case designer or client do not fulfill their ends of the contract.
Client Meeting & Research
At this phase the contract is either approved or disapproved with changes. Now it is up to the designer to learn as much as they can about the client’s business and ultimately what they want this blog to accomplish. When researching for the design to start a blog it is good to keep in mind the following points:
- Does the client have any sort of branding (image(s)/headlines the company presents to its customers that identify that company) that they would like carried through to their website?
- What is the audience this blog is geared toward?
- What will be the main areas of the blog? Often this determines the blog pages, and in turn the navigational menu.
- Does the client have any specific copy they would like to include? Too much copy is not good and no copy may be bad as well.
The designer should also research similar blogs to the one that he or she is designing to see the competition as well as gain insight into the website’s subject matter. It should be asked if the client particularly likes any existing blog, or any particular thing about a blog. This will help steer the designer in a general direction as well as give the designer new ideas about approaching a problem.
Creating Mock-Ups and Flowcharts
Now is the time for the designer to take all the research and turn it from rudimentary sketches ideas into a more polished form. This can be a mocked-up image that should look as if they could be snapshots from the client’s website.
A flowchart listing the pages can also be included to help the designer and the client understand the flow and ease of the blog. At this point the mock-ups and flowcharts can be adjusted as seen fit by the client and designer.