A quick introduction to managing your web development tasks

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Early in the life of your startup, perhaps when that venture is still just a side project, you need to take your website or app design seriously. And you can expect this task to be a financial drain. Building a great interface is not so different from building a house: it has to be done by a great designer or coders; and the work of these professionals is not cheap.

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Related: Learn About Wireframes Before Hiring a Web Developer

However, there are ways to reduce the cost and time the designer or coder spends on your project. Here are the typical stages of a web development project and how you can reduce costs at each stage.

The web design cycle

For those of you who are less familiar with web development, there is usually a set system for designing and building new pages and features. Although it may vary from place to place, most large companies will have variations on the next steps to create and improve web properties and applications.

Wireframes or initial mockups

First, there is a pre-design phase where all new ideas are mapped out, usually as a “wireframe” or “mock-up” (there is a difference). These ideas could be for a new web page, a new feature in an app, or anything else that might change the aesthetics or overall functions of your web property.

Designing a brand new site or app can be a massive undertaking requiring lots of mockups and meetings, but a single page flip will often be something an individual can create a wireframe for. This sketch of the proposed site can be shown to colleagues at meetings as well as to the company or in-house designer. It can be discussed and reworked until everyone is satisfied.

The design at this stage will only be rudimentary and will show where some functionality is and where large images could go, and will give the designer an indication of the look of the overall page/functionality.

wire tools

There are many tools that can help you create wireframes and they are often extremely easy to use, Balsamic is popular. Most of the tools have click and drag functionality and will offer common features like social media buttons and icons etc. These tools allow a web design enthusiast to convey their vision to a designer.

The design phase

Once everyone is happy with the wireframe, it can be handed over with any relevant notes to your designer. This individual’s job is to create the “art” for the website. It involves a realistic image of what the new webpage, app page, or feature will look like. It will not be a functional page with clickable elements or links. It is only a clear representation of what to expect visually, which can then be passed on to a Web developer (coder) who will transform this work into a real functional web page.

The feedback loop

Once a design is complete and web developers have completed their roles, the project manager and relevant team members will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the work and discuss any changes. Once things get closer to completion, people will have differing opinions on how things look and work.

Related: 12 Steps to Build a Successful Ecommerce Site in 12 Months

It is important at this stage to allow time for comments and any necessary rewording; therefore, it is important to include opportunities for feedback in the overall planning of any web development project.

Handing over completed designs to web developers without reaching consensus will create problems later. Typically, another company founder, or a senior manager, will see the new page or feature for the first time in the “sandbox”, causing rework and wasted developer time. and designers.

So what exactly is a “sandbox”?

Once web developers have rendered the designer’s work into an actual web page, app page or feature, they will not publish it live to the site or app. First, they will place it in a “sandbox”. This is equivalent to a clone of your web property where you can see the changes and experiment without those actions actually affecting your current site.

A sandbox looks and acts exactly like your site, so once you’re happy with the changes and the necessary approvals have been given, that new page or feature can be pushed onto the actual version of your site or app. .

Work with freelancers

The above system is typical of medium to large companies, with in-house designers and developers. But when you’re just starting out, you may need to create your own wireframes and hire a freelance developer to create designs for you.

You can also work with agencies that create the necessary designs and turn them into working web pages. Outsourcing this work is often necessary at the start of a business. You can use a site like Independent to find designers and developers. Codable is particularly useful for finding WordPress site developers.

Landing Page Solutions

It is worth mentioning instant page builder apps such as Home page. These apps are growing in popularity and can be a lifesaver for businesses large and small.

These applications allow hobbyists to create web pages without any knowledge of HTML or web design. And they’re easy to use: most have click-and-drag functionality and use templates. You can create a new web page from scratch and with a little help connect the app to your site and then quickly create new landing pages. The amount of time and money these apps can save you is impressive, and may cause some companies to reconsider hiring a full-time developer.

Related: Strategies to Increase Your Website’s Conversion Rate

In sum, web development projects can be tricky and require careful communication skills and an understanding of relevant terminology. Remember to allow plenty of time for a feedback phase and revamping of wireframes and designs. To see this resource to catch up on all the necessary terminology.

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About Irene S. Stroupe

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