Executing The Web, One Site at a Time – Our Approach To Building A Website

Online success just doesn’t happen, it is the result of the careful execution of a methodology or process. Our web design methodology is based on 20 years of experience, starting with a website we did for FootLocker.com back in 1996. Our methodology has evolved over time into a streamlined and flexible process that can be adapted to any website development project, regardless of size and complexity.

Here is our basic website development approach:

  1. Business Discovery / Definition
  2. Strategy
  3. Interface Architecture (IA) and User Experience (UX)
  4. Visual Design
  5. Technical Development & Integration
  6. SEO / Testing and Site Launch
  7. Maintenance and Marketing

Scaling Project Processes

This seven-step process can be modified to fit a smaller project by reducing the amount of effort spent on various steps. For example the “Discovery” process can involve just one simple phone call with the client to learn about their brand and goals. For a more complex project, “Discovery” can involve weeks of meetings.

Likewise, the “Strategy” process can be accomplished by creating a short document that addresses a holistic strategy, or for larger websites it can involve weeks of market research to define your target audiences, analyze your competition, and recommend communication channels. Each step in this process is flexible and can be modified to fit a target project’s budget and requirements. Since we’ve worked on hundreds of websites, we can quickly estimate a project scope and cost, based on our experience with similar projects.

Creating a Project Estimate

When we estimate a project we try to get a good understanding of the project requirements and then estimate the number of hours required for the tasks:

  • Business Discovery / Definition: We begin by listening, making sure that we understand the challenges and opportunities, audience, industry, brand, business and the websites goals.
  • Strategy: Developing a strategy to reach the target audiences and drive conversions. Budget, schedule, team and refining the scope.
  • Interface Architecture (IA) and User Experience (UX): Creating site maps, wireframes and diagrams of the website structure and user paths.
  • Visual Design: Integrating your brand and messaging. Design all graphics and page layouts; may also include a separate design for mobile browsers or apps.
  • Technical Development & Integration: Hosting setup, database setup, application design and programming, testing, testing and more testing, technical project management. Integrate plugins and third-party apps.
  • SEO / Testing and Site Launch: Metatags and keywords, SEO best practices applied to page content. Analytics installed. Testing on mobile and desktop.
  • Maintenance and Marketing: Maintenance plan setup and client training. Ongoing marketing strategy implementation.

Important Note: All of these tasks require Project Management time. A website development project without a decent Project Manager is doomed to failure. The Project Manager is the primary point of contact with the client and our internal team. We have found that between 15% and 30% of a project budget and time ends up being project management hours.

At Executionists we are not a “develop-and-run” web design firm. We know that crafting the perfect website takes time and a lot of effort. Our blog contains many articles that discuss website development best practices. We also have video series that focuses on specific aspects of web design. We encourage you to click around, if you have any questions, call us at (310)-754-3807 or fill out the form by pressing the button below for a free consultation.

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Posted: March 27, 2013