Web Design Process
This process centric approach has meant that every project we undertake leverages on past experience to provide more value to our clients. Xtreme Network Consulting have identify the need for a process based development and testing approach. While well defined development processes existed for software development, the life cycle of a web site design project was largely a vague process at best. Below is a very brief description of our current web design process and project life cycle. The process undergoes a routine review and optimization in order to incorporate the company’s latest recommendations.
The stages consist of the following elements:
This stage is an information gathering and objective definition stage. It is vital that the goals are clearly defined both for the project and for the website in general. This stage will also involve decision making about vital element like what information and content is already available and what will need to be generated or procured. Also decision will be taken about the most optimal way of presenting the information within sections (also known as a sitemap). This stage will see a lot of consulting and advice from Xtreme Network Consulting in regards to what more can be done with a website, besides just putting up an online brochure. This stage would be complete once both parties sign off on the goals and objectives.
This stage consists of a brainstorming session to arrive at ideas to best achieve the objectives as defined in the Scope stage. The stage will produce several elements that will later form the basis of the web site. A few examples of these elements are:
- Wireframes – Architectural diagram representing a page
- Prototype – Visual sample of a page, either on paper or on screen with no interactivity
- Briefs – Documents the project, audience, goals, and objectives as well as describes how the design addresses these issues
- Comps- Mock-up pages showing how the Web site will look, offering several options (from color schemes to layout)
- Flow – Process diagram showing the how the Web pages connect to each other
- Sketches- Informal hand-drawn drawings to brainstorm the layout of a Web page. Sketches has been used to mean the same thing as prototype (if needed)
Also the timelines and deliverables thereof are defined and agreed upon in this stage for the entire project. Client tasks are allocated for procuring and providing assets like company logo graphic, internal photographs and voids are identified and alternative plans are made.
This stage involves producing sample sketches of the homepage for the perusal of the client. We will also decide on the hosting options best suited for the stated goals (as defined in Scope stage). We will work with the feedback proved by the client (in an iterative fashion) to further refine the sketches and arrive at a final layout. A skeleton (blank but clickable site) of the inner pages will be developed based on the main page design.
This stage will also consist of populating the site with relevant content. The content will be obtained in consultation with the client. However minor optimizations will be carried out on the content for use with the website. This stage will also involve coding of any online forms and setting up of email ids etc. The end result of this stage will be a near complete website.
This stage will see comprehensive testing by us to ensure that the website will appear correctly on all Operating system platforms like Linux, Windows and Mac. Testing will also be done to ensure compatibility with major browsers. Xtreme Network Consulting will also undertake optimization in this stage to ensure that the site is usable by search engines by including Keywords, descriptions and META tags; We have extensive experience in the area. Optimization will also be undertaken on images across the site to ensure quick download and presence on ALT tags (for image search engines like Google)
The site will be uploaded to the live server and final Quality assurance testing will be done. All links and formal scripts will undergo stress (in case of databases load testing will also be done) and regression testing. The site will be submitted to over 100 Search engines via an automated script (custom submissions can also be done if desired)
Other General Points
As a practice, Xtreme Network Consulting builds site that are extremely easy to maintain using the latest technologies in the world today like, CSS style sheets, XML internationalization and SSI (server side includes). This means that should our clients decide to make modifications in the future (usually websites undergo major changes every 6 months), the cost incurred would be minimal. Xtreme Network Consulting will handover of all the above site assets to the client. Additionally all passwords like mail admin and FTP will also be handed over to clients at the end of the project.