Successful websites come from the combined effort and talent of a lot of people. We want to be part of that team but there is a lot to do beyond creating code and wrangling servers. Here’s a roadmap that covers the basics for building something great.
Wireframe twice, code once. This initial phase defines how the site will function from both a human and technical perspective. Hutman provides technical guidance during planning to ensure design and functional elements will work with technical requirements and budget constraints.
Our moment to shine. This is when developers distill planning documents into a working website, CMS, e-commerce platform and other needed functionality. They also work with the creative staff and client to resolve any technical issues or changes that arise during this phase.
Solid as a rock. Finding issues now means avoiding problems on the live website. The full site is put through its paces by developers, designers and the client to ensure everything works as expected. Revisions and fine tuning prepare the site for population and launch.
Ready. Set. Go. All of the carefully crafted marketing content goes into the site. When finished, a final check completes the process and all of the adjustments to domain registration, DNS hosting and server configuration are made to take the site live.
The company or person for whom the project is being done. The client generally defines high-level project goals and requirements.
The primary contact for the client who ensures the client is happy with the project process. The account manager is responsible for getting contracts in place and should handle any billing and scope change issues that may arise as the project progresses.
The project manager (PM) coordinates efforts of the team as work progresses. The PM ensures that each team member has what they need to complete their role and facilitates communication between team members and other outside resources as necessary. The PM also tracks the project calendar and keeps team members updated on upcoming deadlines or schedule changes.
The content strategist works with the client to develop all of the content that needs to be presented on the site. They also create an ongoing plan for updating any time-sensitive content and updates to the site.
Information Architect (IA)
The IA is an expert in understanding the structure of the content and business logic behind the site and creates systems to ensure that the end user experience and site functions capture all of the requirements.
User Experience (UX) Architect
Defines overall structure of the site or application. The UX architect defines a site and content map and works with the information architect to define all user interactions with the site.
The designer is responsible for creating the final layout for all user interactions as well as any graphical elements on the site. The designer also defines how styles should be used on the site as new content is developed and updated on the site.
Front End Developer
Back End Developer
The back end developer creates code which runs on the server to manage content and execute any business logic.
The tester ensures that the final product works as expected and meets all of the project requirements. They understand the limitations of various browsers and platforms and ensure that the site gracefully responds to any end user device limitations.
The system administrator is responsible for designing and maintaining a reliable hosting environment. They also install tools necessary to meet any requirements needed to run the software created by the front and back end developers.
Document defining the relationship between the client and the design firm. Should spell out general requirements and payment terms.
A timeline of deliverables and tasks required to complete the project.
A document which defines what features need to be included in the site and how they should function. This document should act as the guideline for whether requirements in the project have been met.
A tree structure of pages on the site which accommodate the site content and interactive elements.
A diagram of the user interface which defines what elements exist on a page and how the user interacts with them. The wireframe should include everything a developer needs to understand how a user is supposed to interact with a site.
The document that defines the data and business logic behind the site. Technical details about data structure or 3rd party integrations should exist in the technical document. The technical document supports the logic spelled out in the wireframe.
Files created by the designer and used by the front end developer to create the site. These can be Photoshop or other file types and should be exact representations of what the end user sees for different page types on the site. Supporting graphics and designs for elements on mobile and tablet devices are included as well.
A non-functional version of the site which contains key user interactions. Used for testing prior to production to identify any user experience issues.
CMS / Framework
The base platform used to create the website. Depending on site requirements this may be a web framework (Laravel, Django), a CMS (Concrete5, WordPress) or an ecommerce platform (Magento, Opencart).
All of the code developed by the developer staff to make the site run. Generally the source code extends the CMS or framework chosen for the site.
User studies to ensure that the user experience will work for the target users.
Testing in which the tester completes a list of end user tasks on the site and ensures that no errors occur.
Internal tests built by the developers to ensure that the logic behind the site functions properly.
Systems for simulating a user experience or a check of internal logic that is scripted to run and report success or failure.
The technology required to run the site. This includes data centers, servers, network configuration, firewalls and security.
Automated checks to ensure that the site is running as expected. Generally monitoring includes tracking statistics on many aspects of the hosting environment like response times, memory usage, CPU usage, etc. The system admin staff uses monitoring to respond to any issues as quickly as possible.
Migrating code and content from a development site to the live website. This should include a defined process for checking functionality in a safe environment before making any changes live on the site. It may also include configuration of email routing, DNS hosting and domain registrations.
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