Wednesday, 21 November 2012 02:26

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Is it about the business, technology or the design?

Actually it is about the customer!  It doesn't matter if you are a business or a non-profit organisation - it is always about who you serve.  How do they feel and what do they want?  Technology and web design are about serving the end user.  Building the website is about combining all of the factors of development to produce a website quickly with all the technology at a price which offers a great return on investment.

Building websites is a concert of a wide array of elements that need to come together in a very precise way to deliver a prescribed outcome.  Shorthand - it needs to work!  Users need to enjoy your website - even if the source of that enjoyment is just highly usable functionality.  Can you imagine going to a website and actually enjoying paying a parking ticket because it was so hassle free?

There are four major areas of web development to consider:

  • Presentation layer - look, feel, style, assignment of screen real estate, navigation
  • Logic layer -performs calculations, offers technology to present content (slide shows, lists, galleries, forums), user interaction mechanisms, user input
  • Data layer - the database stores almost all the information for a website.  Its only purpose is to serve and store information in most cases.
  • Administration layer - in modern content management systems the administration layer gives instructions to the presentation, logic, and data layers.  This includes adding, editing, and deleting content; configuring technology used; and controlling things like time and administration functions.  It sits between the website presentation and the logic & the data layer.  In essence everything is stored in the database and the administration layer gives all instructions on how it will present and behave.

Build Process

Building a website starts with creating a vision, plan, creative elements, specifications - and then finally building it.  The building part of development is actually one of the least important activities as the majority of work that is preformed has already been defined and carefully thought out.

Standard Technology

  •     The content management system is installed.
  •     A temporary design structure is implemented so that the presentation layer can function
  •     Menu structure schema is implemented
  •     Technology modules and existing components are applied
  •     Sample content is uploaded to the database

Custom Technology

  •     Forms are developed with their business logic validation of fields
  •     Custom applications of modules and extensions are created
  •     Application interfaces are created
  •     Processing technology specific to unique content needs are implemented

Administration Controls

  •     Applications that manipulate content which cannot be managed in the administration back-end are applied and tested
  •     Administration controls based on access levels are assigned
  •     Backup, security, and website optimisations are installed and configured
  •     Back-end configuration of quotations, invoices, project management, customer management, and others are applied
  •     Time controls for automated functions are inserted

Creative Design

  •     Style sheet is created and applied
  •     Custom structures and screen elements are installed
  •     Graphical content are tailored to the website
  •     Client is involved in pre-delivery modifications and approval process
  •     Final graphics are optimised for web

Database Development

  •     Database engineering commences to create custom tables and structures
  •     Database is checked for integrity
  •     Sample data is discarded
  •     Database is optimised for speed

Standards Testing

  •     Website is checked for compliance to the relevant standards
  •     Alterations are made for instances of failure to achieve best fit
  •     Dead link and 404 testing is preformed

Technical Specification

  •     Documents specific to development are written
  •     Code is commented as modifications are made
  •     Database structure is documented if required
  •     Previous documentation is checked against the build

Every web development is unique.  Sometimes even what appears to be simple changes can be very labourious, and things that may seem complex are very simple.  During a development build changes can be very costly.  Interweaving tries diligently to make clients aware of the cost of changes during construction before any work is preformed.  The work performed during a build is very much like the framing of a house.  A lot happens all at once, and it begins to look very much like a house - but there is a lot to be done before you can move in.

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Read 12833 times Last modified on Friday, 18 January 2013 05:44
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