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Developing Web Sites


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Web Project Management Guide

Setting goals
Time estimates and team members
Content review
Site structure and navigation
Finalizing timeline and content
Visual design development
Production and proofing
Site launch and maintenance

Visual design development

Design goals are based on analysis

It's important to keep in mind that design goals are based on analysis. Exploring the answers to the following questions can help your team agree on a visual design that complements the content.

Homepage, templates and features

Once there's enough content or content types available, you can create sample pages based on focus-group comments and site goals. This phase includes:

User testing and approval

Ask prospective users for feedback on sample pages before moving to production. User feedback on sample designs can be surprisingly consistent. Because we're a research institution, we're subject to federal guidelines when any kind of testing or survey involves humans. If you're not sure whether you're adhering to the guidelines, contact the campus Institutional Review Board and ask about the university rules for testing human subjects, and whether your survey is exempt.

After users have helped you settle on page designs, get stakeholder approval before moving on to production. This is also the time to do all of your cross-browser, ADA, and cross-platform compatability tests. Once the design is tested, tweaked, and approved, design is frozen. This is imperative as the next phase cannot commence while design is still being debated.

Next step: Production and proofing