Tolmie Systems Design Process

website design always flows better when following a process...

Overview

Here are some thoughts on how we deliver our website projects.

A new website from a technical point of view is a quite complex entity.  Many different elements of functionality are combined to form the website. Often it is referred to as either “front-end” or “back-end” functionality. The website front-end is the visual presentation that should draw in and hold the visitors attention while the back-end includes the technical combined elements.  The design process outlined on this page is able to resolve inconsistencies or conflicts between these elements based on our experience, research or testing. The design process highlights issues, manages risks and finds solutions with an aim to deliver a quality solution.

The process flow is basic although for some designs that are more complex additional sub-steps will be added.  Each stage is as important milestone on the journey to deliver a top class website for our clients.

TS design process flow

Plan

For any project the planning stage is considered to be the most important.  Failure to get this right will impact the project in various ways including quality and time.

The design scope must be determined and agreed with the client, as these are the key inputs for a successful design.

An important question to understand is what benefit does the client wish to see from this website? The key success factor here is good communication with the client.

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Design

Taking the agreed design scope, we prototype the high level concepts into some potential designs.It may be necessary to research the industry and look at trends to further our understanding. It is important that any design has reasonable lifespan.

Prototype designs are presented for client consultation. Sometimes a demonstration website is setup to show the client a more visual prototype.  As they say “a picture is worth a thousand words” to get your ideas across.

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Build

The Build stage is the ‘nuts and bolts’ where we convert the approved design into a functioning website. The individual components are added to our development web server then any coding or customisation is performed. Usability testing is performed to confirm functionality including cross browser support. The system is then fine tuned based on the test results.

The next sub-stage is where we take the clients images and written content to load into the website again testing overall usability.

We also take the opportunity to setup your production web server, including domain name and email. This site would remain in maintenance mode until we are ready to go live.

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Launch

This is the fun stage for our clients – launch the new website.  Once the client gives final approval to ‘Go Live”, we then enable the site on  the production host, update any configuration files and perform final site testing. eg. contact forms.

We use this stage to deliver any training and documentation associated with the site.

We then complete Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tasks on the live site- Auto-Generated Site Maps,  Webmaster Tools,  Visitor Analytic etc..

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