Some call it 'alpha' release, others a 'prototype', but whatever you call it, here are a few key components that will help make any website redevelopment project a success.
All projects basically have the same key players when undertaking any redevelopment project:
- the client
- the user
- the designer
- the developer
- the project manager
It's vitally important that the bottom three understand the needs and requirements of the top two in order to define project drivers, scope and desired outcomes.
It's important to conduct an initial meeting with both the client and users (where possible) at different levels and roles to understand the history and context of the site to be redeveloped.
Gain User Insight
Speak to stakeholders and synthesis the information gathered to draw out key insights about their needs, expectations and experiences, as well as pain points and ideas for improvement.
Co-design the Strategies
Work closely with the client to develop a strategic document outlining the future path of the site. This might include:
- existing functionality
- future functionality
- content management (centralised/decentralised)
Conduct various meetings to bring together a diverse range of perspectives, representing the voices of Intent, experience, expertise and design, to generate ideas for a new site that delivers on the project goals to meet the client and user needs.
Develop a Content Strategy
Apply what has been learnt to develop a Content Strategy that provides clear and practical guidance, covering:
- types and categories of content
- publishing workflows and schedules
- content ownership and responsibility
Design and Develop
Continue to work closely with the client to design and develop a prototype, using an agile methodology. Prototyping is a wonderful way to produce a working base site without necessarily getting hung up on all the nitty-gritty components of a finished product. It gives the client and users a very good idea of what the final product may look and feel like and is ideal for quick development tweaks based on continues feedback from user testing.
Test and Refine
Most important of all TEST, TEST, TEST your designs with users through several rounds of agile-based usability tests to improve and refine them towards a final design.
Consolidate the outputs from the project into a handover package for the client that positions them to move forward with confidence.