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Web Development

(That Leaves No Room For Error)

Fig-Leaf-websites|baldwim|mobile|designStemming from experience, we've developed a 'procedural routine' which we apply to all our web based projects. We do this because we strongly believe this approach is the best means to producing successful, robust, cost-effective, quality websites.

Our methods work because they leave little to chance and no room for error. In fact, we're so convinced that our way is the best way, we will reluctantly decline work if we are unable to follow these processes. We need to be able to do our job properly.

But isn't this all a bit inflexible and dogmatic, we hear you ask? Well no, not really, because these processes are really just a form of quality control, just a series over-arching best practices.


 


 

Quality Control - Our Model For Web Design And Development 'Best Practice':

  • Understanding Your Aims, Audience and Requirements:

    This is about us taking time to really understand what it is you're trying to achieve with your website. This essential, pre-development planning is what gives your website the best chance of success. It needs to be covered thoroughly and we are there to offer suggestions, help and advice. We can't, and won't, begin developing a website without this vital understanding.

    Fig-leaf-website-planning

  • Devising Intelligent Development Strategies - Robust & Future Proof:

    Web development is technologically complex, and from the beginning we need to make sensible, practical choices that relate to the project as a whole, from start to finish. For example, when design begins we need to understand any specific issues with accessibility and usability, cross-browser compatibility and the workings of a particular CMS. Flexibility needs to be built-in and dead-ends avoided. Again, it's important to do this early on, so a fully mapped-out, long term strategy can be established.

  • Ensuring Thorough Information Architecture Planning:

    'Information Architecture' sounds suspiciously like technobabble, but it is the most concise way of describing how important it is to organize information on your website in a coherent and consistent way. Content management, site mapping and site navigation needs to be properly formularized because getting this wrong will have serious implications for usability, 'findability' and future development. It's surprising how often people still build websites without examining or understanding this correctly.

 


 

 

You'll have noticed that so far we won't have done any graphic design or written a single line of code for you yet? Sometimes potential clients ask us at the beginning to offer 'visual' design ideas as part of our bid for their web projects. We'll refuse. Imagine someone came to you and said "can you build us a building?" You reply "sure, what type of building, what's it going to be used for?" and they reply "ah, don't worry about that, just start building something so we can see what it's going to look like". No, no, no! Any attempt to begin visual design without first covering the processes above, will almost guarantee failure for your website.

  • Built-In Usability & Accessibility:

    This is where all the benefits of that careful planning comes in to play. We're now in a position to start building a website that is both dynamic and logically organized. We can now start producing design templates with a complete knowledge of the whole project roadmap. Importantly, it also means we're able to build in proper usability and accessibility from the ground up, and not merely as an after thought.

  • Open Standards, Non-Proprietary Coding Practices:fig-leaf-website-Code|baldwin|mobile

    We always endeavour, where practical, to use web technologies that are free and open for everyone to use. These free and open technologies are actually generally superior to any of the alternative proprietary based options, and are used to power at least 90% or all websites on the Web. We use open technologies because it offers so many advantages, not least the cost; no more on-going proprietary fees.

  • Giving You Independence, Ownership & Control Over Your Website:

    Requirements and circumstances will vary, but when your website is fully developed and ready to go live, our aim is for you to have as much control over it as possible. Through the use of open technologies and well configured Content Management Systems, we are able to offer you a high degree of independence. You own and maintain your own website with minimal reliance on third parties, both in terms of unnecessary support or any of those needless, excessive on-going costs.

 


 

So there you have it, an overview of the critical considerations we believe are essential to producing a successful website. As you can see, they're not so much about the practical aspects of web design and development, but more about making sure the overall project is well managed and that these important 'best practices' are kept to the fore.

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