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Brief Phase - An Amateur’s Process for Building a Landing Page

Before you begin reading, I’m trying something new - you’ll find that this blog post is mostly written in a narrative style from Greyson’s POV (the main character).

If you’re looking for a real in-depth look at building a landing page, then this is for you!

Post Series:

  1. The Brief (client conversation(s), project details, goals, and timeline)
  2. The Planning Part 1 (theory of what works with landing pages)
  3. The Planning Part 2 (why the theories work)
  4. The Design (color, visual elements, typography, rich media, UX)
  5. The Development (accessibility, framework(s), MongoDB, functionality, performance, markup)
  6. The Launch (testing, live server, QA, analytics)
  7. The Maintenance (A/B testing)

The Project

A local group of Marines are looking to raise money for a yearly Marine Corps tradition (an event) by holding a fundraising event. They need a website that allows their friends and family to donate or pay to signup for a running event.

a marathon runner


is a UX strategist and frontend developer with a passion for building digital products that users really want and need. Greyson, first and foremost, cares about the end users.

Corporal Chester

Cpl Chester is a great guy and a leader among the local group of Marines, but he doesn’t have a clue what he wants, but he knows he needs as many people to signup as possible for his fundraising activities. Chester and Greyson know each other personally.

The Initial Conversation

[Default Samsung ringtone]

“Hello?” answers Greyson in between sets at the gym.

“Dude, are you free? I need a favor.” asked Corporal Chester.

“Yeah, I’m finishing up my workout. I can listen, though,” gasped Greyson between reps.

“I talked to Sgt. Shall and we were wondering if you could build a Facebook page or website to let people sign up for our fundraising event in September. We’re doing a 5k race to raise money for our ball in November.”

“Um, sounds good, but when would you need it by?”

“End of June.”

“Oh, okay. Yeah, I could make that work. Is PayPal okay to manage the transactions? If so, does anyone have an account I could use?”

“I’ll be honest, I’m trying to involve as few of the higher-ups as possible. They are already being a pain in my ass. So, I’d prefer if we used an account among one of us. If we have to create an account, that’s fine too.”

“Haha, okay. I’ll just use mine and flag each transaction so I know what to bring to you on the day of the event. Tell me more about the 5k race.”

“I was just planning on doing a 5k run on the trail we run.”

“Are you sure that’s going to be enough to entice people to give up their money? Have you thought of a group or team event? Something that isn’t as boring as a flat run? I’m pretty sure most of the friends and family coming to visit aren’t going to be in as good of shape as you guys.”

“Yeah, that’s true. I don’t really know what else to do, but I’m completely open to ideas, so if you get any just let me know!”

“Alright, man. I’ll think on it and start building out some concepts. I’ll keep in touch.”

“Awesome. Thank you for this!”

“Yep, later.”

[hangs up]

“I was just studying landing pages and now I have the perfect opportunity to put this new knowledge to practice! I need to get these details on paper ASAP, but first, a shower and food.”

The Brief

After munching on a grilled chicken and avocado tortilla sandwich and getting all the stank off, Greyson sits down to begin working out the brief details.

“Hmm, Chester doesn’t really care about what the solution looks like. He really just needs a solution and a landing page is literally a conversion product, so that should work pretty well. I know exactly what he needs, business speaking, which is to make as much money as possible. However, I think focusing on creating a great event and really showing it off in the landing page is the best way to increase conversion since we don’t really have time to research our users or perform any A/B testing. Well, maybe we have time, but I’m not really getting paid, so…”


Project definition - What’s the project about?

Build a landing page for Corporal Chester’s fundraising event serving as a place for friends and family to donate or sign-up for a “fun run” to help the local Marines pay for their ball.

Target Audience - Who will be using the product?

Friends and family of the Marines

Goals - What’s are target?

Raise fundraising

Personal Goals - What’s my target?

Case study on Landing Page UX

Narrative blog series

Work on building my UX process

Technical Specs - What kind of technical constraints or requirements do we foresee?

Extremely mobile-friendly

Paypal transactions

Database to record who signs up/pays

Content Inventory - What content can we foresee as being needed?


Spartan/color run images

Resources - What resources does the client have?


Timeline - When?

June 5th - 11th: brief and planning

June 12th - 18th: Research

June 19th - 25th Design

June 26th - 30th Development and Launch

Budget - What about money?

None (just my time)

What’s Next Week

This is been a little odd for me. I’m not familiar with writing dialogue or narratives, but it’s a goal of mine to write my own manga series and if I’m going to do that, I have to be a better short story writer.

However, the main reason I want to start writing my posts as short stories is I believe it will help you, my readers, retain information better. I’m hoping a short story about UX strategy and development will help you recall the information I have to share in a more efficient way.

You can find me at @chrisjohnsoct on Twitter!

It’s a goal of mine to be the best UX strategist and frontend developer in the world. Will I be the best? I don’t know, but I’m sure as hell going to share my journey with the world, and this post has been apart of that.

Chris Johnson, CEO of Hack It Hour, UX strategist, and frontend surgeon

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