What is it Like to Work With Us?

Throughout the years, we’ve stood by a set of values that affect the way we work. These values are as important when we are working on a large-scale government project as they are when we’re donating a few hours of time to a local non-profit in need. Humbleness, humility and willpower define all that we do. You may have had some experience with other agencies who are anything but humble about their talents. Some can be arrogant, abrasive and down right full of themselves. You will never feel intimidated when working with us and we think a little bit of humility coupled with hard work can go a long way. We are in the relationship business first and foremost and we want you to enjoy working with us.

An Overview of Our Process

The more we know about who you are, the better the chances of success for everyone — you, us and the people you want to reach.

Before we dive in to create or reshape your digital strategy, we get to know you and your company. What’s already working? What’s not? How does your audience perceive you now and how would you like to change that perception? The answers lead us to the story of who you are, how you’re perceived and how the digital strategy will reflect that. Then we work with you on a plan to identify untapped opportunities that will serve as a base for this new digital strategy.

Our approach is centered on best practices, but it’s also fluid and collaborative, like the online environment itself. We suggest the right things for our clients, not the things that will make us the most money. We are always looking for the most value for the money when it comes to our clients so if we can identify an “out of the box” solution that addresses a particular need in the project, we’ll surely make that recommendation. However, if there is a challenge that requires a customized solution, we can surely make that happen as well. Working together, we’ll distill your true story, then use creativity and technology to share it with the world.

Most of our projects involve custom design and development as defined by our process below. However, the process for our WordPress packages is a little different. You can lean more about our SnapSites development process here.


Discovery

We believe that before we can be innovative, we must be thorough. And that means first talking with you to gain a full understanding of your company, your online objectives and the needs of your target audience. We review existing web stats, look at your competitors’ websites, interview key people in your organization, find out who your target audience is and determine what your expected goals are. We make sure to ask you a lot of the right questions (purpose, goals, target audience, etc) in order to help us understand your business and needs.

Deliverables typically include: Existing Site Analysis, User Testing, Functional and Technical Requirements, Project Brief and Project Timeline.

Site Structure

Good web design requires a solid site architecture based on the site’s goals and target audience established in the project brief. We’ll develop a project plan that will help serve as a roadmap for the final creative deliverable. Our final content structure is a product of intense collaboration with the strategy and design teams to produce a successful hierarchy of information.

Deliverables typically include: Content Outline, Site Diagram, Page Description Diagrams and Wireframes. These four deliverables are dependent on each other and should be completed sequentially.

Design

Now it is time to get creative. We’ll review the project brief, site map and wireframes and start brainstorming solutions for different visual designs. We’ll review any branding guidelines as well as the technical requirements for screen resolution, browser compatibility, download time, web standards and accessibility.

At this point, we have a clear idea of the purpose of the site, the content that will comprise the site, the site architecture and the elements that are needed on each page. Drawing on our knowledge of design principles ( balance, rhythm, proportion, dominance), design elements (point, line, shape, color, typography) and user centered design (usability), we’ll develop design options that meet the project goals.

Deliverables typically include: Final Homepage Mockup, Various Internal Page Mockups (based on how many page templates are needed), and Sample Supporting Graphics samples such as icons, callouts, homepage features among other elements

Development

A compelling design doesn’t mean much if the website doesn’t work. Most of the activity in this phase is on our side. Depending upon the size of your project, the production timeframe can be weeks or months. As always, we’ll send you a weekly update on our progress to keep you informed.

This phase typically includes: Image slicing from PSD files, coding templates in valid XHTML and CSS, javascript (jQuery) for drop-down menus, sliders, modal windows, etc, CMS theme development, PHP functions like images and thumbnail handling, custom widgets, forms, etc, plug-ins: installation and configuration, SEO enhancements: titles, meta tags, permalinks, etc, browser compatibility check: MS Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome.

Testing and Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance is a necessity on each project we do. Our teams make sure the code is tested on every browser and put through rigorous beta testing to ensure the end result meets our objectives. We apply our wide-ranging Quality Assurance methodology. By constantly referring to our six-page QA checklist, our developers ensure that we meet each of your critical milestones throughout the development process.

Testing and Quality Assurance typically includes: Content, Links, Functionality, Validity, Accessibility, Browser/OS/Resolution, Page Load Times, Usability, SEO Foundation, Load Testing and Security.

Deployment

We’ll work with you to plan the best date to go live. We’ll consider your current web site traffic patterns and attempt to launch in a way that minimizes downtime. We’ll make sure that everyone on the team is on call for any challenges that might occur during launch. If possible, you should consider a soft launch (a quiet beta launch that allows you to confirm everything is up and running before the official launch date).

We’ll conduct one final stage of quality assurance testing on the live site after it is fully in production to make sure everything is running smoothly. We’ll prepare for last minute surprises by scheduling time to fine tune or solve any unexpected challenges during the first few days or weeks of the site’s debut.

This phase typically includes: Delivery of the Style Guide including Visual Design Standards, Naming Conventions and Templates used in the site. We also produce and deliver any Training Manuals or Training Videos specific to your site and schedule In-Person Training Sessions as needed.

SEO, SEM and Post-Launch Enhancements

Once your website is live we will setup a post-launch meeting to review analytics and look at the overall site performance. This is also a good time to discuss search engine optimization (SEO) in addition to ongoing efforts to increase traffic and conversions for your specific website goals.

This phase typically includes: Maintenance Considerations, Google Analytics Setup and Configuration, Google AdWords and AdSense, Conducting Informal Usability Tests, Optimizing Site Performance, and more.

SIGN IN TO YOUR ACCOUNT

Our Client Support Center is really a one-stop shop for all of our client resources, documents, tools and information that will help you along the way. Once you login, you’ll have access to a full FAQ section with topics ranging from billing to detailed WordPress instruction, a robust Knowledge Base, our WordPress training video library, detailed client and process guides, and much more.

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Our newsletters are a great way to keep up-to-date with everything happening at LanBran as well as the latest digital trends, news and information relating to design, eMarketing, and online business. We live and breathe this stuff and would love to share our insights with you. We only send out about 4-5 times per year so don’t worry, we won’t spam you!

We are a human-sized studio driven by passion and meticulous attention to detail. We are designers, developers, producers and strategists who all love what we do. We’re based in Austin and have specialized in attractive, intuitive interfaces for the web since 2002.