After all the formalities are out of the way, such as the initial meetings, quote and deposit invoice, the fun then begins. We follow a process which we have implemented to streamline our website projects. This process may differ from company to company, but the basics are the same. There are 6 phases and each phase require client interaction and sign off to move onto the next phase.
1. Information Gathering
Gathering as much information at the beginning helps us and the client understand the websites goals. This information also allows us to cost the project accordingly. Information such as:
- What is the purpose of the website? Promote a service? Sell products or services? Provide information?
- What are the goals of the website? Make money? Create awareness?
- Who is the target audience?
- Is there content available? Should content be created?
- If content is available, how does it look?
2. Site map
Using the information above we will then provide a site map, which will show how many pages there are and how the target audience can click through the website. The site map will also show if there will be a second level of navigation or a even a third level of navigation. The site map will be presented in a PDF document.
Once the site map is signed off, we then move onto the wireframe phase. Wireframes is a visual guide that represents the skeletal framework of a website. We layout the web elements (such as logo, text blocks, images, call to actions, etc.) based on UX and UI principals. We also work out the content hierarchy which entails top level, bottom level, full screen and mobile view content. Basically the layout of the website should be easy for the target audience to navigate and interact on the website. Call to actions should be prominent and relative to the content of the website. Wireframes are also presented in a PDF document with 3 revisions allocated.
At this point we move onto the design of your website. The target audience play a big role in the visual design. Example, a website aimed at corporates will look different to that aimed at women looking for fashion items. The design is also determined wether there is an existing visual identity of the company, or if we need to create a new visual identity (which will then require a separate project at a separate cost). The site will be designed to scale to show you how it will look inside a web browser. At this point we also remind our client that the design is aimed at the target audience and not the client. We usually design one option and allow 3 design revisions. More design options are available on request at the quoting phase. A live mockup will be presented via Invision (a website tool to mockup live website designs).
The development phase is where we actually start coding the signed off design. At this stage no design or layout changes can be made, as it will effect the hours allocated for coding. All supplied content that will be inserted into the website MUST BE FINAL and SIGNED OFF. We will create a staging environment for clients to view a live version of their website, which will not be accessible to the public . Example > www.zedduo.com/demo/. The website will be placed in a folder called demo. Only clients who have access to this link can view the website.
6. Testing and Delivery
We test the website for bugs and issues that need to be fixed before the website goes live. On final approval, we then make the website visible to the public. At this stage we also register the website at Google Analytics so that we can gather user information and reports, which will help us in the future once the client is ready to do upgrades. We also do a basic SEO setup.
Based on the initial agreement in place, maintenance plans can span over any period required by the client. Basically we make sure the website run at optimal speed without any issues. We also make sure your website is secured and safe from attacks. Maintenance can also include content updates provided by client.