It would be lovely if, after having an idea of how your new website, upcoming online campaign or updated web application should work, you pass on a few notes to a digital agency who, after a mere couple weeks, come out of hiding, rubbing their eyes, presenting you with exactly what you'd hoped for and more.
Unfortunately this isn't possible. Anyone suggesting otherwise should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Pacing is Required
We break our projects down into chunks, into stages. For a reason: pacing. Any task that involves a lot of work can't be rushed. A project that involes good quality communication, meticulous planning, a creative approach, a well-designed system, best-practice development and useful documentation can quickly turn into a monster if not treated with respect.
You might already be aware of the traditional stages of a web project: specification writing, sitemap/Information Architecture, wireframing, mock-ups, build, etc. At Studio Mashbo we have perfected our processes to ensure a hassle-free, tangible and swift progression towards the final goal:
Research, Scoping and Discovery
We need to get to know you and your organisation. We want to experience your personalities. We benefit from learning of your daily challenges.
A project that addresses these things works to your strengths, allows us to express the spirit of your organisation online and offers the potential to offer solutions to your challenges.
Information and site structure planning will provide the key framework for the rest of project journey.
By getting an early understanding of the information and functions that need to feature on the site, we can start to form a hierachy and prioritise content.
Here we carefully define the necessary functionality, content, sections, pages and expected templates.
You need to know what you're getting. We need to know exactly what we're making.
These are images roughly previewing the basics of the site – a visual indication of where the main functionality will display and the initial approach to navigation and layout.
This provides a tangible example of our intended approach to layout and where things will sit on the page.
Still dealing with the rough basics, we start working on the site in the web browser as soon as possible. What better way to get a feel for the thing than in the very medium it's destined for?
Responsively designed from the outset, we can also demonstrate how the site will work on different devices. Using mobile-first production techniques we prepare for all sizes of device.
You've had to use your imagination a lot up to this point. We now treat you with a final mock-up, showing off your brand and new design.
This ensures that the steady foundation we've been building supports our creative intentions.
You want your site to look great and function well, but you'll also need to be able to work with it and make changes yourself.
We start running the site on a Content Management System (CMS) nice and early. Leaving you plenty of time to get used to the system, where things live and how to make changes.
At this stage we work to style the site as demonstrated in the mock-ups. Now we're working on a living and breathing site, we can perfect and add to the planned design.
By feeding in your own personality and content you will provide an even clearer insight into how the site will be used day-to-day. As you are adding titles, page information, media and articles we can make small adjustments where necessary.
Once the site is doing everything it needs to we'll test it. We'll make sure it works equally well in all the modern web browsers, as well as a good few old ones.
We'll also make sure it works on different devices, at different screen sizes. The mobile experience needs to be as good as the tablet experience – the site should be as easy to use on laptops as on large-screen TVs.
We can also test the server, making sure it's set up to deliver a fast-loading and robust experience.
We should now be in a strong position to go live with the new site, leaving you content that we've covered all bases and happy that the site performs how you expected.