Ever wondered how we build functional, accessible websites that work?
Site strategy is the forging of principles behind why the website is being developed, who will be using the site, what outcomes the user expects from the site, what outcomes and goals the client / business expects from the site and how best technology can be utilised to provide a successful outcome.
2A. Matrix/Site tree
Site tree is the website's organisational chart (masterplan) and provisions for all pages - current and future. As OpenSign™ facilitates client-side management of the site structure, it's important to agree on the parameters up front (with clients) so the design team are clear on how best to handle navigation design. Site tree also identifies pages that are not content-managed, such as Flash® timeline or game etc. During development of the site tree, the team can identify the number of page kinds (template kinds) that will be required to complete the site. Often these are:
- Home page
- Text page
- Text plus image(s)
- List page
- Forms page
- Image Gallery
- HTML email(s)
And often there may be some variations to templates to suit specific needs.
2B. User paths/Scenarios
Scenarios are mapped through the site tree to test paths of interaction, and ensure these paths of navigation are planned for. Scenario kinds can be anywhere from 1 or 2 through to many depending on the complexity of the site/business.
Wireframing is the organisational planning of information on a page-by-page basis. Working with clients to plan and approve page content (before design begins) provides understanding of hierarchy and a clearer path for design. Wireframe examples are included in the scenario PDFs.
4. Design Development
Strategy, site tree, scenarios and wireframes allow the design team to approach the site with a complete brief. The best outcomes in site design occur when the design and build teams meet early in the timeline and discuss to ensure the vision and the reality of build are aligned. Repeating this through the design phase is always encouraged.
5. Content plan
The task of preparing site content is a large one, and it's best to get clients moving early. By working with clients to provide understanding of what content is required on a page minimises stress and the process becomes more efficient. Where viable, it's often beneficial to identify key pages within the site and prepare this content early so the design team can visualise the site with "real" content - allowing clients better ability to understand what they are getting, and allowing the designers to have clearer understanding of the challenges and opportunities at hand. Simple indication of word count, images, writing for SEO (search Engine Optimisation) are all important factors.
6. Design Refinement
Apply client changes for sign off
7. Create the OpenSign instance [if required]
8. Markup [HTML/CSS]
9. Implement site in OpenSign Publisher
Assuming the competent HTML programmer has become familiar with the OpenSign™ API, each template will take around 1-3 hours to add OpenSign™ code and functions such as Repeating Regions.
10. OpenSign Publisher training [if required]
11. Template tweaks
Any changes in the site template can be tweaked before final step of the site going live.
12. Site testing/Browser testing
Your website is tested to check for any last minute issues with format, layout and functionality. The site is also viewed in multiple Internet browsers to check for any compatibility issues.
13. Go Live
Your website is finished, active and available to be publicly viewed!