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The mirror, signal, manoeuvre of web development

I might have mentioned in the past that good quality web development is not cheap or easy. Like most things in life you’ll need to plan what you’re going to do before you successfully pull it off. In business the mantra failing to plan is planning to fail also absolutely applies to building a great website.

Which is why we advocate a flexible, yet strict process for getting things done right. And despite being a non-driver, I’m going to draw parallels with driving a car.

Check the mirrors

Before you do anything in a car, you check the mirrors. You look in the wing mirrors and rear-view mirror, as well as around the vehicle for pedestrians, cyclists and any other potential hazards.

This is a particularly prudent move in website development as well.

We start by outlining project goals. From this we can extrapolate website features for scoping in full. For example, we might know that we need a contact form, but then we will need to know exactly what data we wish to collect, which fields are mandatory for submission, and to whom the message is being sent. This all forms part of our requirement scoping and helps us to get under the skin of the project.

This stage is all about preparation.

Signal

Signalling is used to communicate with other road users, and similarly, in web development communication really is key to project success.

We make a point of involving our clients in the project discovery and development phase as much as possible. We’ve heard many horror stories where clients have been kept at arms length, only to be presented with a website which is nothing like what they asked for.

Communication forms a major part of our service offering, and upon project kick-off, we define key deliverables and milestone dates.

Manoeuvre!

Project planning and management accounts for roughly 50% of the entire project. We like to separate our thinking from our doing, which means that when we begin the project we are fully equipped with the knowledge for delivering the project; we’ve done our research, communicated our ideas to the client and agreed upon deadlines and deliverables.

Now it’s time to put our foot on the accelerator, and actually get developing the website.

What’s your web development process? Have you been a client before and experienced a similar process? Share your stories in the comments.

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