OUR APPROACH TO A SUCCESSFUL WEB DESIGN PROJECT STARTS WITH WEBSITE PLANNING.

This article is directed towards our clients ready for pre-planning or visitors looking for information about our work flow when designing or redesigning a website.  Pre-planning is critical to correctly identifying and targeting your business user base, and presenting a website design and content based on the data and metrics collected.  Simply put, it focuses on user-centered design practices.  In our opinion, for it to be a blowout success, we require focus group style client participation, eg., work group(s) and council members providing input, data, information and feedback for the duration of the project.

The detailed process below is what Browserweb refers to as the “Enterprise Website Design and Information Architecture Plan”, leveraging data and processes that have been tried and tested for many years and proven to work.

This can be scaled down, depending on the size of the project and budget, however, for the purposes of illustration, we’re discussing the optimal solution.  We need to gather a true understanding of your users personas, which will ultimately aid and benefit the primary goal eg. sales, conversion of website visitors into leads and then into buyers.   Providing an interactive, visual and content relevant website which strikes a chord with your visitors is the ultimate desire.  With meticulous planning, we  will have identified and targeted the visitors most likely to purchase what you are selling.

In digital website design and development, this is our optimal website planning recommendation:-

STEP I : PLANNING

  • Develop a Plan Strategy.
  • Select and Invite a Planning Council / Digital Management Team.
  • Setup Project Management System (Basecamp).
  • Schedule Meeting(s) / Web Conference(s).
  • Write a Statement of Work.

STEP II : ANALYSIS + DATA

  • Analyze your current website(s).
  • Learn about your current website visitors and users.
  • Collate historical data for planning (and predictive analysis).
  • Conduct user research, questionnaires and studies.
  • Develop user personas and memorialize that information and data.
  • Write scenarios.
  • Set tasks, goals and key timelines.

STEP III : WEBSITE DESIGN

  • Determine website requirements.
  • Conduct a website content discovery audit.
  • Perform online”card sorting” (brainstorming session).
  • Define website information architecture (IA).
  • Write for the web (easily understood and formatted content for users).
  • Create mockups, parallel designs for study and review.
  • Design PSD’s from agreed design mockup(s) for all devices.
  • Review designs and adjust as needed prior to conversion to HTML.

STEP IV : WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT

  • Programming and coding requirement brief.
  • Define parallax, interactive areas from graphic designs.
  • “Slice” PSD’s (convert) into HTML.
  • Create a WordPress Theme for the new design.
  • Implement design with interactions as agreed.
  • Perform desktop and mobile design and cross browser testing.
  • Review and adjust as required.
  • Optimize website for all devices to load fast and securely over https.
  • Integrate necessary scripts, tracking codes, and other third party applications and plugins.
  • Obtain final Council approval and Launch website.

STEP V : POST LAUNCH WORKS

  • Perform ongoing evaluations of new website.
  • Usabilitiy testing.
    • Create a test plan.
    • Prepare and test plan.
    • Analyze data and prepare reports.
  • Heuristic evaluations.
  • Implement recommendations.
  • Repeat…

THE WEBSITE DESIGN GOAL

CREATE A STRUCTURED AND FLUID, CROSS-PLATFORM, USER-CENTERED AND VISUALLY APPEALING WEBSITE EXPERIENCE WHICH FOCUSES ON YOUR BUSINESS DEMOGRAPHICS.

We understand that depending on who you talk with, there may be several variations on what’s the optimal plan and methodology required for such an in-depth research and planning exercise.  Browserweb has listed above how we like to approach the design planning process.  It has been rewarding for our clients over the many years we’ve been servicing our valued clientele.

However, that said, we’re always tweaking our own plan and how we prepare our clients planning, as the internet commerce marketplace rapidly evolves.

One of our key statements is “test, repeat, rinse, test, repeat and test again…”.

It’s not an option, it’s a must if you wish to stay current in today’s fast-evolving world wide web and website design and development processes.  A fabulous example of this is our own decision to create two versions of our website, one for mobile and the other for desktop visitors as statistics show our content is read more on mobile than desktop.

Browserweb operates 2 versions of it's URL

USER PERSONAS + DATA ANALYSIS

KEY TO THIS PROCESS IS FIRST OBTAINING QUANTIFIED DATA ANALYSIS  FROM VALIDATED USER PERSONA RESEARCH.

As a web design agency servicing clients nationally and internationally, most of our work is remote.  Clearly, some would say it has its disadvantages in-so-far as on-site client interviews and meetings.  Whilst we contend that in-person is ideal, given the online tools available, we are not at any disadvantage.  We regularly as part of our plan hold remote conferences, brain-storming sessions, using project management tools, development servers and such.  Thus, the data we garnish remotely and also the reporting we provide to our clients, is invaluable.

We’re really data scientists for the most part, collecting and reviewing historical data for your business and then with the help of Council, obtaining vital insights about your user base.  All this data is then used to structure  a small set of focused personas which identify the target user base for the new website design.  If you’re an existing business, we’ll use your historical website analytics and combined with your business books, customer databases, conversations and meetings with the focus group, we can easily create the personas, rather than elect for a fictional version.

Why use fiction when you’ve got real data and numbers to analyze?

And as for in-person interviews that may be sanctioned rather than online surveys – we prefer to delegate this task to the business Council and key staff – after all, who knows their customer better?  Indeed in our past experience, the business enjoys being involved in this process as they are also learning more about their user base as well.

WEBSITE PLANNING

THE SUMMARY

As you can see, the breakdown of a good website design planning process is quite detailed.  From accessibility to content strategy, marketing to visual design and everything in between.  However, the end result can be very rewarding and quite profitable.  With a realistic budget, this website plan implemented along with a post launch budget – for paid advertising, SEO and local marketing, retargeting, email, survey monitoring, continued A/B testing and data analysis, can make a massive impact in your online business revenues and bottom line, for the good!  In summary, we will work with you tirelessly and relentlessly to achieve and exceed your online business goals.

This includes bringing your business and sales team new  quality leads and customers, provide relevant content to your users as well as maintaining an ongoing relationship with your users, members, customers and in the case of non-profits – donors.  Talk to us today about your design or redesign project.

Feel free to #sayhello (@browserweb on twitter) or email me personally if you have any questions or comments.

Cheers

Mark Burke
Browserweb.com, a Digital Media Company

2016-12-12T03:27:46-06:00