One project at a time. Collaborating every step of the way.
Once all of the formalities of getting started have taken place and the project has officially started, our first objective is to come up with a targeted plan based around all of the original criteria that was developed during the onboarding process.
This phase includes a lot of thinking and researching. During this time we’ll take a step back and look at the project ahead of us in full. We’ll look at the ultimate goals in addition to the steps we plan to take in order to get there.
New ideas and techniques are born while we’re wrapping our heads around the project. Our experience plays a large role in knowing the trends and standards that users expect, but it’s this step that helps us push the envelope further and come up with new ways to maximize those expectations.
Rough wireframes are created to get our initial thoughts down for key pages. As this process continues, we iterate on the wireframes until we have a solid concept that is ready for presentation.
What’s a Wireframe?
Wireframes act as the blueprint of the project. They are a digital document which outlines the content structure, hierarchy and rough placement. Wireframing is a tool that helps both the designer and client visualize the layout of the site content without investing time and energy into overall aesthetic look of the site (this step comes later). This allows us to present and iterate upon initial ideas in a very efficient way. See a wireframe example.
It’s at this point that the real collaboration sets in with the client. Presenting the wireframes to the client is really the first true deliverable of the project. Having this wireframe as the first visual aid really helps clients start to see their project from a new perspective. This naturally leads to constructive feedback and iteration.
As we present and discuss the wireframes, some solutions are confirmed while others lend to newly refined ideas. This is the beauty of collaboration taking place; combining a deep knowledge of the product or service from the client with an intimate understanding of users and trends on the Web from Iron to Iron.
We continue this process until we have a comprehensive document which outlines the full structure and hierarchy of content needed to fulfill the goals of the website.
It’s also worth mentioning that throughout this process we are also ensuring that each decision made along the way accommodates best practices on the Web from not only the perspective of the site visitor, but also from a search engine and administrative standpoint. (More on that in the Develop and Launch section.)