Our Process - Design and Build
"Form follows function" is a principle associated with modernist architecture and industrial design in the 20th century. The principle is that the shape of a building or object should be primarily based upon its intended function or purpose. The same applies to website projects. Design is very important, but I doubt the purpose of a project is to win a beauty contest!
We produce wire-frame page designs to develop web page ideas and concepts, without being clouded with graphics, so that the finished page is usable and effective. Important technical elements of the page, such as navigation, banners, content, conversion funnels and calls to action are properly positioned so that the page works for the user.
Wire-frames are produced for desktop, tablet and mobile devices so that elements can be viewed and understood across device types.
Almost all of the projects that we are involved with require custom graphics design. Design templates can be sourced but it's unlikely a template design and layout will perform better than a unique design that has been produced for a specific project.
For responsive design it's important to remember that the same content is shared across all devices. A common mistake is to switch font faces and other page elements across devices. We keep as many common design elements as possible across devices as this makes it easier to manage a site.
If the planning stage has been successful then the development stage is usually relatively quick and easy.
- We run projects on a project management system and maintain project communications within the project management system
- We hold frequent (weekly) project meetings with all stakeholders
- We develop on a staging server
- We put the development site behind a login so that only stakeholders can see it
- We block search engines from indexing the development site using robots.txt
When a site is completed, it is important that all stakeholders review it and provide a final sign off.