Design thinking… development workflow… it’s a foundational process providing structure to a team’s project. This process encompasses all aspects of a web development project until launch.
My journey as a web developer may be similar or very different from many others’ journeys. Over the years and through varied website projects and client types, I’ve formed a development workflow that can help me (and my valued clients) empathize, plan, develop, test, build, review, and deploy faster.
There are no rules to follow the workflow steps sequentially. Testing and empathizing happens over and over throughout a website build. It doesn’t simply take into account the actual design process either. It covers the preparation stages right through to post-launch.
At one time, I used an online workflow manager and scheduler – there was a free trial, but after about two years, it required a subscription to its enhanced team communication features which I wasn’t even using anyway, so no thank you very much, goodbye. At that point, I used Microsoft Word to detail a workflow reference document translated from the process that online manager had helped hone.
My web development workflow “checklist” improves my design process by improved planning, increased productivity, and improved consistency. It helps me stay on task and keeps my clients happy. It also helps teams keep track of what needs to be done first, what needs more support, and potential setbacks.
The workflow schedule boils down to 5 key steps (again, they may not happen entirely sequentially):
Phase 1: Gather Requirements & Manage Expectations
Phase 2: Structure Web Design & Architecture
Phase 3: Build the Website
Phase 4: Testing on Staging Sites & Launch
Phase 5: Maintenance & Further Improvements
Ever since I mapped out my web design and development workflow, I can’t believe I hadn’t done it sooner! Having a workflow makes the process slicker and far more successful since my clients and I can strategically move from one step to the next without missing any important phases or details.
Beautiful website design doesn’t just happen.