The Design Process
When we design a site for you, we follow a design process to assure that the web site we build fulfills your expectations and goals for the site.
The following is an outline of the design process:
In this phase, we define your long and short-term goals for the site, and then rank them in order of importance. In addition, we define a general audience for your site.
In this phase, we define different groups within your general audience. For example, if you sell ski equipment, your audience might be divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiers, and these three might be divided into male and female and further divided into young and old. After we divide your audience into distinct groups, we try to determine the goals and needs for each group. We also rank the groups in order of importance. Once we define the possible audiences, we will create an imaginary user for each audience and then a scenario for each user. All of this information helps us to design a site fulfills the needs of your potential users.
In this phase, we will perform a competitive analysis in which we review the web sites of your competitors or your peers to see how they have designed their sites. For example, we look at content, services, and the navigation. This analysis can help clarify what you want on your site.
Once determine your goals, your audience, your users, and your competition, you can begin deciding on the kind of content you need on your site. Make a list of each piece of content you want on your site; for example, a list of products and services, hours of operation, contact information, news letter, documents, and so on. Once your have made a list of all the content pieces, you will organize them into logical groups. These groups will define the main structure and order of your web site.
From the content groups you created in the previous phase, create a site structure diagram. A simple tree diagram will do, or you can use a program like Visio to create diagram.
Page design is the final phase of the design process before we start creating the pages for your site. In this phase, we design the layout of each type of page your site will use.
When all the planning work is done, we can begin building the site. Generally, you will generate all of the content: text, documents, photos, and so on. We will add the content to the pages and build the site.
When the site is built, we will test it to make sure that everything works. We will also have you test the site to make sure it does what you want it to do.
After the site is tested and performs according to your specifications, we will deploy the site on the web server and your site will be available to your clients.