The phases of brilliant web design and development are quite similar to creating a plan for a new product or creating a brief. Great planning is essential for great web design.
The phases of the website creation process include:
Defining the project
The business or organization needs to identify the reasons for creating the website and what its existence is supposed to achieve. These are the goals and objectives of the website. They are the preliminaries to any other moves the designers and developers can make concerning the website. It is essential to understand the needs of the target audience, the competitors and the strategic goals of the site. The goals of the website should be well defined, measurable and representative of every department that makes up the organization. The project definition should contain:
- The project summary that outlines the general overview of the project such as the organization background, environment and its value
- The measurable goals for the site
- The target audience that will help the organization achieve these goals
- The key messages to attract and motivate the audience to action
- The competition or rivals to the organization
Outlining the scope of the project
The project cope plan states the specific activities of the web design process, the deliverables and the timelines for all these activities to be achieved. This makes it easier to set up expectations for the clients.
Web designers and developers can use a power point presentation to track the web design project. Using a Gantt chart from powerslides.com, they can outline the major activities and the associated tasks in an easy to follow presentation. The clients can use this presentation as well, because it creates accountability between the design team and the client. The power point presentation is a great way to let the client know the delivery schedule and what is expected of everyone.
Site architecture and visual design
The site architecture defines the overall structure of the website. It should include the site map covering all the pages in the website along with their relationship to each other. This sets the basis for the site’s overall navigation. The web developer uses this blueprint to create the visual style for the website. The design of the website should convey brand perceptual ideas and connect the website with other forms of communication of the organization.
Site development and testing
The designs have to be approved by the stakeholders before moving on to the next step of fleshing out the design. Site development includes creating new content, videos, slideshows and other media by building up the HTML and CSS to bring the site to life. The site should be tested before launch by placing it in a production server where it can be viewed from the user site. This crucial step can identify problems with the website’s workings before launching it to the public.
Launching and maintenance
Once the website is in good working condition, tested and approved, it can be launched for public use. The launch is usually a critical time, as the developers still have to make minor changes to the site depending on the feedback they get from the users. Site maintenance is essential to keep the website up and running throughout.
This post was contributed by Sujain Thomas