The method I follow is the normal software development steps. The first step is to understand and define your needs and requirements. Then we will look at the content and the structure of the content, the so-called information architecture. Then we will start the design of the solution. Once the design is complete development will start to implement the solution. After that the solution will be tested and once, we are satisfied with the result the rollout of the solution will start.
A development methodology gives a structured approach which has the benefit of providing an activity list that can be used to gauge progress. Progress reporting will be via a burn-down chart. A Scrum board will be used to track the development activities.
At the end of each step there will be a go/no go decision.
After you have made contact
After you have made contact, I will arrange a meeting where we can discuss your needs and the services I can provide.
Once we agree that we could work together we will formalize our agreement in a short contract.
This sets out who will be involved in the project, who will be responsible to approve the content, who will be responsible to make the go/no go decisions, who will receive progress reports who will be consulted and who will have the authority to make decisions
The design of your web presence
Once we have completed the above formalities, we will start with the process to create your website. The aim will be to design and create a practical website to present the message you want to communicate. A website that enhances your credibility by providing informative content and functionality that are pleasing and easy to use.
> Target Audience Definition
It is important that we define your target audience. Understanding your target audience will be key in the content and the design of your website.
> Collecting and organising your content
Content is everything you want to show on your website for the target audience’s benefit. This would include text, images, videos, links, social media widgets and contact details.
The content will be organized so that it is easy for the users to understand and access.
> Structure and navigation
The content must be presented in a structured way to enhances accessibility of the content so that users can easily find the information they need.
A sitemap will be created at this stage. The site map shows the high-level information categories represented as web pages and the navigation to these pages.
> The Look and Feel of your website
When someone looks at your website, they must be presented with your brand and its purpose. It is your thirty second elevator speech. The look and feel of your website are determined by its:
Layout – The formatting and positioning of the content – logo, fonts, headings, navigation, images, branding, etc. Now we must decide where and how the content that was collected will be displayed on the different webpages. This is where we will make a lot of sketches at first to build a logical structure.
Colours – It is best to limit the use of colours, but it should reflect your brand colours.
Fonts – The fonts used should be easy to read, don’t try and be fancy. Also limit the fonts used – one for major headings and for all other texts.
Images – Images can do a lot for your site but it can also slow it down. Image file sizes should be small but must not compromise quality.
Content – The content is especially important. A copywriter may be needed to create your content and somebody that will optimize it for search engines
> Design testing
Once we have decided on the above, we will do a mock-up or wireframe to test everything visually. We may need to revisit some of the above steps.
Now the building of your website starts, the coding of the design. By default, the build will be responsive.
> Usability Testing
Define a testing plan to test the website. Two types of testing will be done.
• The first is to check compatibility with browsers and devices.
• The second is with users to obtain their feedback on their perceptions of the website.
This will be an iterative process.
The last step in the development methodology is to make the site available for use. This includes loading the website onto the server of your preferred hosting provider.