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Website development lifecycle unraveled

Sunil D K 2019-12-15
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he process of development of a website is complex and involves many stages. Any website which skips detailed development would surely fail to attract attention. Websites are primarily designed to convey an idea or promote products. Apart from the first impression to be visually appealing, there are aspects of usability and faultless design that must be enforced.

Websites have evolved from being present on desktop devices to mobile gadgets having different dimensions. To support various form factors, the concept of responsive design arose. Although supporting mobile devices adds complexity, careful planning to support the platform provides rich dividends.

While there are no clear success stories where websites have monetized based only on their design, each niche has created its own impact. For instance, personal blog sites, job portal sites, and video sites are a few examples that have made it big. There are many modern tools that can help in time management and efficient execution of the development lifecycle. Let us look at them.

What goes into an efficient website design

As a professional, you must be aware that for good website design, coding must not be executed hastily. Coding must be kept towards the final phases. It would definitely be a bad implementation if programming is performed before freezing on the design. We will cover the essentials of website lifecycle in this section before deep diving in the coming sections.

You must understand that website design is a combination of various aspects. From graphic components, scripts to code, there are many stakeholders who create the final result. If anyone of the stages is sidelined, it leads to degradation in quality. We can summarize the stages involved as requirements gathering, design, media creation, coding, testing and post-production maintenance.

The stages of development in detail

Requirements gathering: Often the most important aspect of any major project is to understand the requirements. Having vivid ideas which are accurate forms the foundation of a great product or service. Much emphasis should be given to doing thorough research like studying contemporary or competitor websites. Understanding your clients is vital.

Design: The next singular phase in the process is design which holds equal weight compared to requirements. As an advanced designer, you must know the essentials of design tools and use them to convey your ideas. When the flow of the project takes shape visually, many loopholes are rendered clear. The succeeding phases excel with the design

Media creation: Effective media goes a long way and mitigates bounce rates. Images or videos done in haste and with little thought tends to deter users. You must refer to websites that have set standards in their design. There are often many readily available assets that you can either purchase or reuse. In this way, you can save time and use professional content.

Coding: Although we highlighted that coding must be sidelined compared to requirements and design, there can be no lack of effort during this phase. Coding is considered a challenging phase that cannot be executed by semi-skilled personnel. A highly motivated programmer who is aware of the complexities should be entrusted with coding.

Testing: Testing and coding are at par in their priority. An effective tester can virtually dominate the coding process. If a tester finds a bug that acts like a show-stopper, the website would potentially halt. The testing has to be comprehensive by making use of automated tools and adhere to the best industry standards.

Post-production maintenance: Your job is not complete once you deliver the website to your clients. Your active support to keep the website bug-free and updated adds much value. Often a client looks forward to this phase and if there is a lack of support, the project may potentially slip out of your hands.

The common mistakes of website design

There are a wide variety of common mistakes that can degrade the quality of a website. Covering in-depth the whole lot would be out of scope so it is recommended that you grasp the idea and make detailed research yourself. You must be aware that the enlisted points are well accepted and make a difference in your endeavor.

Issues with a slow website: A slow website is always a point of concern. Apart from stooping the website to lower ranks, the overall experience of the website is hindered. Any website which performs with superior speed is favored by users rather than a lagging portal. There have been studies which conclude that any website taking more than four seconds to load is lethargic.

There are some parameters that quantify the responsiveness of a website. These parameters could be but not restricted to - start to render, visual completeness, document completeness and fully load time. You can also make use of the various tools available online in order to benchmark your website.

Home page tends to divert the user’s attention: Using photo-sliders in the home page is engaging but keeping it in auto-advance mode creates diversion. Any media which the user finds blinding is sure to deteriorate conversion rate. Apart from media like carousels, other media having sharp contrasts or poor tastes must be avoided.

Upcoming trends in portal design

There are some exciting trends arising in the field of a website design that must spark your imagination to explore more. Some of these trends are explained below.

Asymmetrical layouts: Sounding rather self-explanatory, these layouts break the rule of the common rows and columns.

Organic design or elements: Any element different from the common shapes like rectangle, circle or square and adds a touch of fluidic design grabs attention.

Nostalgic or retro design: Websites that add a touch of nostalgia tend to evoke emotion. Such flavours are becoming popular.

Conclusion

Website design is crucial for the success of industries in today’s modern world. The outreach offered by the Internet is global and even laymen are getting acquainted with the innovation. With the development of mobile devices, computing has become commonplace even in remote places. Effectively reaching and penetrating the masses would be enabled by websites.

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