Best Website Design Project Planning in Practice
The best website designs are built by agencies that understand the needs and requirements of the customer. The best website designs go through industry and company specific best practices. These best practices are out in place and followed to provide the greatest customer satisfaction possible in an effective and efficient manner. We are certain you are familiar with the old adage “If you fail to plan… plan to fail.” It speaks volumes about the importance of planning!
The best website design agencies use a structured approach to delivering high quality projects. The website design process is greatly enhanced when approached with a project based methodology. Projects are divided into phases to better control quality and effectively mange the output of the deliverables. The website project phases are completed sequentially. Segmenting the project into logical phases makes it easier to manage, plan, and control the project from start to finish. This not only results in higher quality deliverables and greater customer satisfaction, but also in project being delivered on-time and within budget.
Why Sequential Phases for the Best Website Design?
Although, there are situation where larger and more complex projects might benefit from overlapping phases, Digital Shift has found that the sequential focus is designed to ensure proper control over the desired result. For instance, desired changes can be made earlier without having to perform re-work, which increase project costs and usually delay delivery. The best website design agencies have identified re-work as the most common cause of website project cost increases. Sequential phases allow the website project to flow smoothly. When one phase ends, there is a handoff of work into the next phase, which brings the project closer to completion. The upside of the step-by-step approach is that it reduces uncertainty, however, a stricter schedule is commonly required.
Once the project is initiated, website design projects go through seven stages.
Phase 1: Website Planning
This is the starting point of the project and is focused on organizing and preparing to build the foundation for our best website design practices. This phase identifying requirements and objectives as well as determines clear deliverables. Aligning strategic goals with project objectives helps clients reach their online goals.
Determine a website mission by addressing the following:
- What keywords is your target market searching?
- What is the purpose of the website?
- Who is the target audience?
- What does the visitor expect?
Most websites have a missions to inform, sell, or entertain. A combination of goals can also be used to meet specific websites goals. Once all of the client’s needs have been addressed a project schedule is created. Once the schedule is approved the project moves onto the next phase.
Phase 2: Website Content
This phase entails gathering all the content required for the website including keywords, images and written content. The best website design agencies focus on achieving your goals. Identifying the website keywords and organizing content prior to the final design allows to identify website content and keyword gaps early in the process. Prior to designing the website, it is best to determine what will be displayed. Some clients may have a preference to display content in columns or boxes, while others may prefer more of a traditional page layout with certain areas emphasized. The key of the phase is to determine what copy, or text, and images will appear on the pages specified in the planning page. Once all written content and images have been provided the project moves into the next phase.
Phase 3: Conceptual Website Design
The objective of phase one is to complete a design that meets the client’s requirements. During this phase, the client will provide feedback and examples of website designs the client finds interesting. Once a formal approval is finalized, the project will proceed into the second phase.
Phase 4: Website Implementation
This phase is where the actual work is carried out. The objective of this phase is to implement the website solution in an online environment. The implementation phase consists of creating the agreed upon website from phase previous phases. The project manager works with the project team of programmers, developers, and graphic designers to meet the objectives. Changes to the design will require a change order approval from the client.
Phase 5: User Testing
The objective of phase three is to ensure that the website functions and is secure prior to launch. Testing of links and website usability also occurs at this phase. The website is tested and feedback is provided on ease of use, problems, and improvement suggestions. Once the page is tested the client is trained on how to use the content management system in the next phase.
Phase 6: Website Training
The objective of this phase is to train the client on the functionality of the website’s content management system. Digital Shift includes two hours of training with all website projects. We are dedicated to customer satisfaction!
Phase 7: Go Live
The final phase is the launch of the website. This is the closing of the website design project. Measuring the success of the project based on final product quality and customer satisfaction.
The Result of Better Website Project Management
In closing, better management results in better results! The best website design agencies create and follow project phases because they allow them to work with the client. The best website design agency deliver desired results and delivering desired results means:
- Greater customer satisfaction
- Increased customer retention
- Higher quality deliverables
Get started today with your free 1-hour assessment. Call 1.888.480.8010 of request an account manager to contact you. Give Digital Shift the opportunity to earn your business!