After building 100s of websites we have fine-tuned our website design and development process. Though each site is unique they all follow our process framework. This ensures your project stays on time and budget. Split into five steps, the framework breaks major initiatives into smaller steps. Our goal is to build a beautiful and functional website for your organization. Our process helps us get there – together.
Strategy & Discovery
We’ll kick things off with a questionnaire and a few interviews to better understand your company, your target audience, your functionality requirements and, most importantly, your competition. During this time we will examine your competitors and analyze what is working (and not working) for them. We will then take a deep dive into you analytics and look at everything from demographics to device type. If you do not already have heat mapping and click tracking on your site we will add this additional layer of analytics. This will ensure that we understand how your users interact with your site before we build a new one. The new site (or re-designed site) should help you grow online.
Here are some of the activities that take place in the strategy and discovery phase.
- Meet with you for a strategy consultation where we talk about project goals and your vision for the future. Each project is different and defining the goals will help us make decisions along the way.
- Research competitors (yes, you have them). We will look at what is working best for them and what we can improve on.
- Map the inspiration for your website on mood boards. Review special requirements and explore design elements. We will work with you to decide on a look and feel that matches your brand and visitors expectations.
- Define your distinctive look and feel by finding your brand’s core themes and positioning approach. This will help when we architect your site in the next
Information Architecture and UI/UX Design
This is where things get real – it is one of our favorite parts of the process because our ideas quickly start to come to fruition. Ideas from our discovery phase are transferred into the foundation of your new website and we make your brand story come to life, with appropriate aesthetics and styling. The Figmints team will consider structure and usability as we:
- Map out the navigation and user flows in a sitemap. The sitemap is the blueprint for all the pages on your website. It will help us understand user needs and organize content logically.
- Define functionality and content using custom page layouts for desktop, mobile, and tablet views. Users on different devices have different goals. We will look at each device type to ensure functionality matches the users goals.
- Style tiles to explore visual options and mood. This is where we define things like typefaces and button styles. They will work together to create a visual voice for your brand online.
- Polished, custom designs for specific modules or complete responsive layouts for tailored mobile experiences. The design elements come together to create custom modules and page designs for your site.
From front end visual implementation, to the logic of back end development, or even the meticulous testing of browsers and devices, development is where the code hits the road. Form is only as good as its function. In this phase, we comprehensively code and test your website. Here are some of the activities in the development stage.
- Skin the front-end designs. This is when our Sketch files come to life (Sketch is our favorite UI design software). We code the front-end of the website to look like your designs on any device.
- Develop back-end features and set up API integrations.
- Set up the Content Management System (CMS) so you can easily update content.
- Test features such as database communications, links, forms, phone numbers.
- Ensure site is responsive with all browser types, tablets, and mobile devices
- Run a technical SEO audit. We run an audit of your new site to ensure we have correctly implemented heading tags, meta tags, image alts, etc.
After adding content to make the site your own, the big day arrives!
- Set up, secure, and performance tune the production server (encrypted with SSL).
- Before we launch we test site speed and code integrity. This means minimizing requests, automatically compressing images, and ensuring everything is running smoothly.
- Migrate site from staging to production server. This is the actual act of “pushing” your website live.
- We will train your entire team on how to manage and update the website. This training session can also be recorded so you can watch it again or train new members of your organization.
- Set off fireworks in our parking lot to celebrate your new amazing site.