Every digital agency or web development company has their own process in place for project management however generally speaking; there are 6 stages that need to be taken care of during a web design or web development project
1. Understanding the client’s business and their goals
2. Defining the scope of the project
3. Planning the build
4. Designing and developing the website
5. User Acceptability Testing (Bug Fixing)
6. Deployment (Launch)
Understanding the client and their goals
The first and most important step in a web development project is to understand the client’s business and what they are looking to achieve from their digital presence. A good way to kick-off a web design or web development project is to send out a questionnaire to the client that can help you gauge a deeper understanding of the client and their business.
Craft questions that help you understand:
• What product or services does the business sell?
• Who are their competitors?
• What marketing strategies are being used to attract visitors on the website?
• Who is their target market (demographics)?
• What devices are being currently used by their current visitors?
• What is more important, a call or an email enquiry?
This will help the web design and web development to take decisions regarding user interface design and various UX elements that need to be incorporated during the build stage of the project.
Defining the scope of the project
The scoping document refers to the list of project goals, project deliverables in terms of development of functions, technologies being utilised, design (UI/UX), timeline for the project and the related costs. This document needs to be very well defined in order to set the client’s expectations right from the very start and to make sure there is no project creep. This is where a lot of digital agencies get it wrong and end up losing money. So you need to work on this document really well.
Planning the build
This phase involves tasks that contribute towards the development phase of the project with the following tasks being undertaken; creating the sitemap (including SEO considerations), user-flow diagram and wireframes.
This allows the client, the front-end developers and back-end developers a good understanding of the various aspects of the project and creates a very good foundation towards the design and development phase.
Designing and developing the website
This is where the front-end developers come in and bring the designs to life using their CSS and HTML skills while the back end developers’ work towards coding the functionalities required and putting together the content management system.
User Acceptability Testing (Bug Fixing)
When the project is complete it is taken back to the client for a final review. The client is given a chance to test all the functions that were laid out in the system functionality document at the start of the project and review the final designs. Feedback is taken from the client and appropriate changes are made.
The final stage of a web development project involves setting up the website on a production server followed by a final round of testing. At this stage the developers also optimise the website to ensure that load speed requirements are met and all the bugs (if any) are taken care of.
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