Our Design Process
The first step to any project we take on is a Discovery Meeting wherein The Design People team members identify measurable goals, ask specific questions about what the site does in terms of functionality and how the company wishes to be perceived on the Web. From there, we can proceed to a proposal that details timetable, web flow, process and project cost.
Phase 1: Site Definition
Here’s a glimpse of how we work with you. It starts with a Free Consultation wherein we assess the scope of the project. We listen to you and help to define clear-cut goals and provide a formal proposal as well as a time and cost estimate.
A client survey or forum will be conducted wherein specific questions will be asked that lead to a ‘website profile’ of the new site. A structured summary of the design issues addressed during the client survey will be distributed to the project team.
Milestones will be mutually scheduled to insure timely submission of deliverables for each phase by RillTech, LLC.. Deadlines will also be set for the client to deliver content, branded collateral and marketing materials. Technical needs, logistical procedures and back-end integration will also be reviewed at this stage.
The flowchart representing site navigation will be reviewed. At this stage, RillTech will also analyze and streamline the site to minimize the number of mouse clicks for a typical user to arrive at relevant content. A staging area will be created for the purpose of viewing work in progress, tests, concept designs, etc. The area will be accessible on the Web through a private URL, knowledge of which will be limited strictly to the parties involved.
Phase 2: Design Conception
After sitting down with you and discussing the requirements of the new site and the image it needs to convey, we create the art direction. Once approved, design samples representing how the main pages of the site will navigate are created and production begins.
Based on thorough understanding of the project goals and the target audience, RillTech will develop one or more design concepts. They will serve as inspiration for subsequent identity and web site design directions. The visual components addressed will include identity, mood, color palette, graphic design, typographical treatments and navigation.
One distinctive art direction for the site will be created based on feedback from the design concepts. The final design presentation will include sample primary (home page), secondary (main sections) and tertiary page (typical information page) designs.
Design of accent images, header graphics, navigational buttons, and icons for main sections of the site begins in earnest at this stage. For animated elements, storyboards will be created. Art direction will follow the site structure and guidelines determined by the creative brief and final design presentation.
Colors, fonts and logos are also finalized at this stage. RillTech will create guidelines for all instances of live and static typefaces, logo usage and a website color palette of hex colors to be used with the website. Design guidelines for website components including buttons/links, titles, labels, tables, banners and email flow will also be created.
Phase 3. Technical Engineering
This work is divided among a core team of designers and programmers. Images and ideas are converted to html and site structure and diagrams become code. Any additional features such as database development, Flash animation and other functionality will be integrated at this stage. In cases where a site may require frequent updating, content management systems are implemented that allow administrators to input fresh content without prior knowledge of HTML.
A database structure is created outlining functionality, input fields required, error/success pages, administrative user levels, login, registration, cookies and password issues. Programming for functionality and database-driven elements as described by the database overview/web flowchart begins. Web administration tools and menus are developed. Forms that interact with potential visitors will be created.
The goal of this stage will be to create a robust and dynamic Internet presence with intuitive system features. The scope of work will include the creation of all the staged components. Typically, however, a series of minor revisions and final iterations will take place after the initial build until we have achieved the final functioning component item. The finalized component will be used for integration into the interface.
Alpha testing will be performed internally. Then, a beta version of the website will be uploaded to the staging area showing web page flow of the proposed primary, secondary and tertiary pages. This involves ‘weaving’ the home page with all templates below it to create a ‘clickable’ version of the website.
Phase 4. Publishing
The last phase involves testing all applications for cross-platform and browser compatibility. In simple terms, we make sure your website works on both Mac’s and PC’s as well as all of the prevalent versions of AOL, Internet Explorer and Netscape. Once testing is complete, we launch the website and submit it to all major search engines.
If applicable, page titles, page descriptions and keywords are generated at this time. This process helps Internet search engines and directories (i.e. Yahoo!, MSN, Google, etc.) index the site.
RillTech, LLC. will thoroughly test the prototype under different browsers including the latest versions of Internet Explorer, AOL and Netscape Navigator on both PC and Mac platforms.
We develop content and functionality to a lowest common denominator standard of 4.0 or greater browsers with strong considerations for 56.6K dial-up connections. This ensures that your site contains the essential technologies and is accessible to a large audience. The server will go through rigorous testing to ensure application stability and security.
Training for use of the web administration tools, synchronization, or importation of legacy databases and website content as warranted by the proposal is started in this phase. Servers are re-tested for any potential problems. Upon approval, files are uploaded and site is launched. Final sign-off on the site is performed and marketing begins.