Web Application Development
We build custom web-based applications using open-source tools. To deliver a quality product on time and on budget, a lot of planning and work is required. We structure a project in multiple phases, where each phase is completed with client sign off before proceeding to the next phase. This keeps the scope of the project tight and on track, with no surprises at the end.
To begin, we learn everything we can about the client, including their branding, marketing strategy, business philosophy, their products and services, customer base, competitors, and workflow. To build a product for a client, we need to learn as much as possible about them.
We gather their requirements and understand their vision for the application. We learn who will use the application, and how they will use it. We understand the purpose of the application; is it a commerce site to sell products? Is it a base for marketing and lead generation? Content and media distribution? Is it a phone application?
At the end of this phase, we know what to build, the purpose, and for whom.
At this point, we know the scope of the project, so we now determine what tools we need and what resources to procure.
This phase is about assembling the team, defining roles, developing the strategy, and preparing for execution. This is where we take the ideas and concepts from the previous phase and convert them into a detailed project plan (statement of work) and timeline, with milestones and deliverables. From the project plan, we can calculate the cost of the project.
With the tools, resources, and a project plan in place, we can begin designing the product. The sitemap is established, and wire-frames are generated. Wire-frames are converted to prototypes to establish the user interface and navigation. The back-end coders may be designing a database schema while graphic designers work on the front-end aesthetics. Everyone is hammering out the details and designing the specifications for what is to be built.
A formal design document is created and presented to the client. Any changes or concerns are addressed here, and the document is revised. Once the client signs off, we move to the next phase.
With the project blueprints established, the site build begins. DevOps are established, the creative team collaborates with the coders to integrate the aesthetics into the build. All of the work from various teams is coming together in collaboration.
The site is released to a control testing group tasked with breaking the site and identifying issues. These issues are communicated back to the team for fixing and re-deployment.
Once the issues have been fixed, the site is released to the public. We train the client's team, and the site is monitored closely for several weeks to confirm everything is working properly. If no issues are found, site monitoring is transitioned to a regular maintenance and monitoring schedule.
Every project is different, but for most projects, we adhere to this methodology.