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Detailed Methodology

Initiate  >  Set  >  Design  >  Execute  >  Deliver  >  Measure

Initiate the Project

Project Intake Form

Is used to gather the right information during the initial project meetings.

Project Charter & Contract

The Project Charter details the scope, timing, budget and treatment of the project. Its focus is on the project itself, not the end product, and serves as a contract between the client and 8 Sharp.

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Set the Direction

Research, Analyze and Conclude

Research occurs when the team reviews the advertising, web sites and other materials of the client's competitors, customers, and other relevant industry examples. Research may also include formal or informal focus groups, surveys, interviews or the purchase of third-party data. Research provides the team with insight into the target audience's needs and industry best practices. The team analyzes the research findings, concludes the best approach, and produces formal documentation.

Strategy Brief

Used to document the strategy and objectives of the project, the Strategy Brief is a two-page summary of the following: Situation/Background, Objectives, Target Audience, Strategy, and Tactics.

For larger projects or campaigns, this phase could also result in the delivery of more complex strategic documents such as the following:

  • Internet Strategy: Generally the result of an "e-strategy" engagement, this document details a client's long-term Internet strategies including World Wide Web, E-commerce, Intranet and Extranet initiatives.
  • Marketing Communications: A traditional plan, this document details the client's marketing communications strategy across all mediums—print, radio, TV, trade show, public relations, and Internet.
  • Brand Focus: A Brand Focus examines the client's brand promise and determines the appropriate positioning for the product or company. It focuses on the image that a company wants to project and how we can create that image in audience's minds. Brand Focus results in brand identity materials and brand standards.

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Design the Experience

Creative and Experience Briefs

The Creative Brief is a shorter version of the Strategy Brief that quickly summarizes the "must-knows" for the creative team, providing them with clear direction on the project. Generally used on more complex engagements such as an E-Commerce site, the Experience Brief is a collaborative effort of the entire team. The Experience Brief goes beyond "look and feel" and asks, "What is the experience we want the user to have?"


The concepting step is where we begin to design the end product. Concepting varies from pencil sketching to complex diagrams, flowcharts and specifications documents. The roles involved and complexity of this phase vary based on the project. For most projects, concepting involves at the very least sketches and/or storyboards.

Design and Document

This is where your product comes to life. The concepts are further refined, design decisions are documented, and revisions occur. The deliverables, roles involved, and activities vary greatly by the type of project, but this step always results in a specific product design.

Present (Prototype/Mockup)

While you have seen early versions of our product design, this is where it really comes alive—when we create a mock-up or prototype of the finished product. The Prototype/Mockup can be used for internal reviews, focus groups or usability testing with target audiences. This is a critical juncture in the project and ensures that the final deliverable is aligned with your company's business objectives and your target audience's needs.

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Execute the Project

Asset Production

Assets are all the graphics, text, audio, video, and other elements that are to be integrated into the final product such as a brochure, video or website. Assets may also include PDF files, Flash animations or other new media elements.

Build and Integrate

Combining the assets into one final format may be as easy as putting the finishing touches on a brochure in Quark Express or as complex as programming an E-Commerce catalog.

Test and Refine

Small or large, projects should always be tested—and testing typically leads to refinement and a better product. This phase may be as informal as floating a brochure before a few target audience members or as formal as usability testing using two-way mirrors and mouse-tracking software.

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Deliver the Product

Transfer Product/Knowledge

Some firms simply have the courier drop-off your package. At 8 Sharp we take a different approach. We meet with you to deliver any appropriate source files and documentation, review the product and how it was developed, and discuss upkeep and maintenance. Whether you will be maintaining the product in-house or having us keep it up, it's important that you have all the information about your product.

Client Acceptance

At the end of every project, we review the Project Charter with you and ensure that we meet the contract requirements. This makes for happy clients and very few misunderstandings.

Project Review

Conducting and documenting a Project Review meeting is important for the future success of your projects. It also ensures that the project is closed and archived properly for ready access to the materials in the future.

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Measure and Maintain

Analyze & Recommend

Early in the project we establish goals and desired results. We also establish methods for measuring the results. Our teams review and analyze this information for important use trends and to determine future enhancements or new initiatives.


The "Analyze and Recommend" phase always results in Action—product enhancements, new marketing programs, development of additional initiatives, and other activities to continue the success of your efforts.

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