Our Website Development and Project Methodology
Website Development Project Lifecycle
Discovery and Planning Phase
The first step for any successful development poject is
The primary deliverable from this phase is a detailed specifications document that will be used for building the applications. Other tasks and deliverables may include:
- Evaluate any existing site against current best practices, competitive sites, and project goals.
- Prioritize project requirements (functional, technical, and content).
- Research technical solutions for the platform and functional requirements.
- Create demos or prototypes, if needed, to demonstrate options.
- Plan for the look and feel of the site, and content strategy.
We believe it is critical to involve all key stakeholders including site visitors and content editors the website design process. Common user research methods we employ include interviews, focus groups, and surveys to reach a broader audience. Results from these activities will be incorporated into our design recommendations.
For website upgrades, we can use an online survey to gather input on the current system, type of information users look for, and the current challenges with the existing site.
Our user interview process is:
- Collaborate with the client team to determine ideal candidates for interviews.
- Determine the feasibility of in-person meetings, or availability of video conference tools for remote teleconferencing.
- Separate interviews into groups of similarly categorized participants, based on role or department.
- Each interview will use the same set of questions, and much care will be taken to facilitate open and unprompted conversation about the opinion of the current system and features that are liked, disliked, and needed.
Our user survey process is:
- Create a survey with separate groups of participants, usually categorized by role.
- Identify what information or features the target sees as being important.
- Have them rate the relative importance of this information and features so that we can focus on the most important information.
- Have them rate the current system, in regards to this important information.
Discovery will ultimately benefit from the interview and survey findings put together by our team. We will identify anything more we can take from these findings to make sure we are hearing what the various constituents that will use this system are saying. After analyzing the above data, we will make recommendations for content areas to be added, edited, or deleted as well as incorporate the findings into the IA and content strategy recommendations that specifically address navigation and labeling in the menus contributing to the overall site structure.
Project Management Methodology
There are many different approaches to managing development projects, and each one usually works well for the type of team and the deliverables they’re trying to manage. At Monarch Digital we have spent years experimenting and perfecting our methods and believe we have arrived at a style of project management that enables us to deliver excellent and cost-effective results for our clients.
Development methodologies in the industry are roughly divided among the ‘traditional’ and the ‘agile’ methodologies. We find that working with our customers in an iterative fashion brings out the best results. But we also recognize that budgets are not unlimited, so we use a methodology based on the best principles of both Traditional and Agile.
Traditional Project Management
Traditional methodologies define the end product at the beginning of the engagement, have a long development phase, and deliver the finished product at the end. This often leads to discrepancies between user expectations and the finished product as there are few opportunities to review and/or give feedback on the product throughout the development cycle.
Agile Project Management
Agile methodologies work in an iterative fashion, with a series of very short development cycles including specification, development, testing, and the explicit goal of including refinements to the product in the next cycle. Agile methodologies help reduce project cost by allowing constant feedback and changing priorities thereby reducing wasted time and budget in the long run. The core principles of the Agile methodology can be found at agilemanifesto.org.