Our process strikes a balance between clear direction and milestones and flexibility and feedback. Whether it be a website or mobile app, we use the following phases for successful digital projects.
In this phase, we spend time getting to know you and your needs, setting the goals of the project and determining the project’s timing and priorities. We will begin with a project kickoff meeting where we agree on goals, scope, timing and responsibilities. We will also set a schedule for review meetings for: wireframe reviews, design reviews, and status check-ins.
- Outcomes from this phase: roles and responsibilities defined, timeline and milestones established, clear understanding of the project and the stakeholders.
The architecture phase has a goal of providing a way for everyone to be able to sign-off on what we’re building. This comes in the form of annotated wireframes. This document is much like an architect’s blueprint showing what will be on key user-facing templates of the platform. Wireframes allow us to show specifics but also get a visual feel for the end result.
- Outcome from this phase: Agreed upon wireframes that outline the functionality, structure, and flow of the site
A site is only as good as the copy, photography, and video that it delivers. Wigwam offers all these content creation services and we find that the best time to work on these elements are concurrent with the design process. We often find that the content greatly affects the design and structure of the site so we prefer to show finalized designs with final content.
If SEO is a key factor in this project then we’ll also be looking at keywords and audience targeting during this phase.
- Outcomes from this phase: Honed copy and headlines, photography, video, illustration.
The design phase consists of setting look & feel direction as well as creating the designs for each template of the site. First, we’ll present multiple design concepts to get signoff on a design direction. This gives us an opportunity to play and experiment with look & feel options without getting mired in details. After we present those concepts, you can make revisions or take elements from one design to add to the other. Once a design direction is finalized then we’ll use that to create finalized designs. Arriving at final designs is an iterative process and we love to meet and gather feedback and incorporate them into revisions.
- Outcome from this phase: A clickable design prototype that allows you to envision the site and the flow through it.
Here, we’re building out the site based on the wireframes, designs, and content we’ve created so far. We’ll have questions throughout this phase but we also should have enough conversations and documentation to get us through to the testing phase. This phase will be completed with a “beta” site that we’ll review together. The beta site will be available for you to review but will be password-protected so that the public will not be able to see it until it’s ready to go live.
- Outcome from this phase: A beta site that is ready to launch but also ready for heavy testing and stakeholder input.
Testing and Revisions
The earlier phases will have gotten us pretty close to the end result but we find that changes are usually made once we all see the functioning site. The final phase is all about honing in the project and allowing for tweaks to get everything just right. We’ll receive some feedback during the beta review. Along with our internal testing, you’ll be reviewing and testing the site with key stakeholders and providing feedback. We’ll then provide a timeline for revisions and identify any requests that may be considered to be outside of the original scope.
Our final phase is a period of deployment – posting the site to the web host and making sure that the servers are ready for prime time. We also add necessary security to keep spammers and hackers from being able to infiltrate the site.
- Outcome from this phase: A public-ready live website.
Post Launch Phases
A website needs promotion and nurturing and we don’t consider it a success until the intended audience is finding the site and getting what they are looking for. We include the following phases with our clients:
We build all of our sites to be able to be maintained without the need for web development. The site admin interface is helpful and intuitive. We also provide a thorough training (video or in-person) for anyone who will be responsible for maintaining the site
Maintenance and Support
We find that it’s helpful to stay involved in the months after the launch of the website. We offer maintenance agreements where we provide support, updates, and performance analysis. Some clients get up-to-speed during this time and are able to take it from there and others want us to stay involved with the running of the site. We’re happy either way.
Wigwam offers plans for content marketing, email marketing, social media, and digital ad creating & placement. We can help get the people you’re looking to connect with finding your site and establishing communication between you and your prospective clients.