Our Web Design Process

Do you have a thorough web design process? We have found that in order to be successful in the world of web design, a well thought out project process is essential. Not only does it help to clarify when certain team members are needed on a project, but it helps to demonstrate to clients that we are organised and interested in quality management.

We try to make project management as easy as possible by using Basecamp by 37Signals. This tool is great when teams are located around the UK or abroad. It gives each stakeholder access to the project, whereby they can review, contribute and upload their comments for all stakeholders to view and respond.

We follow a core project process to ensure all of the websites that we design and develop are the best possible quality. You can download a PDF view of our web design process here.

Our methodology is as follows:

Requirements Gathering

  1. Contract awarded & terms of business signed and returned
  2. Initial meeting to discuss project, requirements and aims
  3. User profiling (if required)

To gain a full understanding of the project before any documentation and design is started, a number of detailed requirements gathering meetings are arranged with key stakeholders. From Strawberrysoup’s perspective, this consists of the project manager, the project lead developer, and the lead designer.

Having the most experienced members of the team involved during requirements gathering, gives us the chance to discuss and advise our client on any new functionality and technology that would potentially make the overall solution more effective and future-proofed.

If required, user profiling takes place during the requirements gathering phase. This is aimed at identifying key target audiences and their core reasons for visiting the website.

Specification

  1. Project schedule created and team members allocated
  2. User profiles agreed (if required)
  3. Site mapping created and signed off
  4. Functional requirements written and signed off

Once both the customer and Strawberrysoup are happy with the requirements discussed above, these are then transferred into two core documents – the sitemap and functional requirements. The sitemap is used to display the site hierarchy, layout and page linkages. The functional requirements document outlines everything that the website is going to functionally do – from user signup forms to full CMS controls. These two documents are used throughout the entire project to ensure the project remains focused and on track.

A project schedule is agreed and generated from the deadline launch date backwards to ensure all aspects of the project can be achieved within the given timeframes. Milestone deadlines are put in placed and each stakeholder informed where appropriate by the project manager to ensure all materials are supplied at the right time.

Design

  1. Homepage designed
  2. Lower level pages designed
  3. Overall website design signed off

The next phase focuses on the website design. An initial design meeting is held to review the functional requirements, sitemap and user profiles if appropriate. This meeting gives our clients the opportunity to highlight any design preferences if appropriate. It also gives us the chance to question the customer on a number of design related questions and give them our design questionnaire to complete if necessary.

The design is developed and tweaked over time until it is agreed and signed off. Once the initial concept is agreed, we then design a number of lower level pages to ensure that the design of the entire site remains consistent as users navigate their way around.

Development

  1. Development team meeting to discuss overall project
  2. Staging environment setup
  3. Website development
  4. Upload to staging environment for client review

The next phase is when the actual development of the website begins. This is the largest part of the project in terms of time and normally consumes over 60% of the project timeframe. Regular liason between Strawberrysoup and our clients is required to ensure they are kept up to date with progress. The client may be given access to the staging environment to test elements if appropriate.

Any concerns regarding the build of the website can be discussed with either the project manager or lead developer to ensure the customer has more than one route to the development team.

Testing

  1. Functionality and stress testing
  2. Browser interoperability
  3. Usability testing

After the development is completed, the website is tested fully. Depending on the project budget, this may include testing by the core project team and client, or the site may be released for beta testing by a wider audience. Testing is one of the most important phases of our web design process. It is typical for testing to last weeks or months, depending on the size of the project.

All bugs and amendments are identified during this phase and prioritised for fixing.

Launch & Review

  1. Prelaunch meeting
  2. Testing and review
  3. Launch
  4. Support and maintenance

Once the website is tested fully, a prelaunch meeting is held with the client to discuss the launch plan. Final sign-off is then provided and the website is launched. Strawberrysoup remain available for any amendments that are required post launch through our support agreements or adhoc tweaks.