Katipo Project Survival Kit

Website Development

Over the years we've continued to learn and adapt our processes so that you get the best website possible for a reasonable price.

We are big fans of the "Don't Make Me Think" school of site design. We also follow research and usability oriented organisations, and are particularly interested in User Interface Engineering.

We've learnt that people find it hard to focus on the content of pages, so we try and remove distractions (like graphic design) when we're working on the flow and structure of a site, only adding in the graphic elements when we think we know how a section is going to work. That's especially important for web applications – and administration areas.

All our website & application development go through a similar development process and we use it to base our project timelines.

The process we follow is:

1. Confirm and elaborate the brief

  • The process of starting a website project often raises many questions and presents new opportunities; this is a chance to work some of those in if possible, and to plan the architecture of the site.

2. Information architecture

  • Once the parameters of the project are set, we work on the information architecture of the site. Things to be decided include:

    • How many levels of navigation?

    • How many levels of pages?

    • What are the major section headings?

    • What are the major page headings?

    • What features are there, where do they sit on the page and in the site?

    • What's on the front page and other key pages?

    • What's on every page (global navigation, copyright etc)?

    • Clear and constant navigation is the most useful technique for making a website easy to use.

3. Design

  • The overall style of the site, key graphic elements, and the front page are all worked on. It's important that this stage take place after the information architecture has been decided, so that the designer has the most information possible about how the site will function.

    • Our full website design process involves:

      • the preparation of 3 black and white homepage design concepts showing directions the design may take

      • a collaborative refinement process where the chosen concept results in a colour homepage design

      • the application of the final homepage design to key inside pages.

4. Conversion to templates within the Content Management System

  • The approved designs are converted to templates for the CMS. At this time we test on different browsers and systems to ensure consistency.

5. Installing dynamic elements to the template and Content Management System

  • Dynamic content is often required within the templates. These are added at this stage.

6. Training

  • Training for staff who haven't been involved in working with the content management system, and advanced training if required.

7. Converting content to the new templates within the Content Management System

  • We anticipate that clients will be able to add information into the new templates within the Content Management System and edit as required after some training. Katipo are happy to undertake content conversion and editing at our Time & Materials rates. Please note that Adobe PDF files will not be edited.

8. Testing

  • Testing the dynamic systems, link checking, and, ideally, a dry run on the live server.

9. Go Live

  • Implementation on the live server.

10. Project Wrap-up

  • Evaluation of what's gone well, and where to from here.