Almost every Web designer can attest that much of their work is repetitive. We find ourselves completing the same tasks, even if slightly modified, over and over for every Web project. Following a detailed website design and development process can speed up your work and help your client understand your role in the project. This article tries to show how developing a process for Web design can organize a developerâ€™s thoughts, speed up a projectâ€™s timeline and prepare a freelance business for growth.
First of all, what exactly is a â€˜processâ€™? A Web development process is a documented outline of the steps needed to be taken from start to finish in order to complete a typical Web design project. It divides and categorizes the work and then breaks these high-level sections into tasks and resources that can be used as a road map for each project.
A Typical Process
Here is a standard process that was put together using examples from around the Web as well as my own experience. (Note: Please see the resource links at the end of each phase.)
The planning stage is arguably the most important, because whatâ€™s decided and mapped here sets the stage for the entire project. This is also the stage that requires client interaction and the accompanying attention to detail.
- Requirements analysis
This includes client goals, target audience, detailed feature requests and as much relevant information as you can possibly gather. Even if the client has carefully planned his or her website, donâ€™t be afraid to offer useful suggestions from your experience.
- Project charter
The project charter (or equivalent document) sums up the information that has been gathered and agreed upon in the previous point. These documents are typically concise and not overly technical, and they serve as a reference throughout the project. Continue reading