How to develop a new website

From quick one-pagers to complex websites, we deal with it all here at Black Lab Digital. We are often asked for unusual or complex functionality which never phases us, over the years of tackling challenging projects we have developed a process to aid in creating a functional and beautiful websites for our clients. This process can simply be broken down into 5 steps, each step serves a purpose for the client and us, designed to allow us to move through the project making sure there are no hidden surprises for all parties. The Black Lab project process for web development encompasses the following steps:

Exploration phase

During this phase we work to understand the requirements of the client both functionally and visually. This allows us to start creating a solution which works towards their budget and their needs. Depending on the complexity of the project we may run site mapping, functionality and site feature sessions with the client utilising various tools to establish base requirements and if required a wish list of additional features.

Scope setting and planning

Once we have a clear understanding of requirements for the project we start to think about our approach. This approach is outlined in a scope of works document which sets the parameters of the project for the client and us. It defines in detail what will be created and the steps which will get us there; it ensures that all parties are clear on their responsibilities and what they should expect to be delivered. Once approved timings can be laid out and design started.

Integrated design

The scope will set out the design process, sometimes due to budget constraints, a template may be leveraged. However, in this example, we are imagining that a bespoke design is required. We will often create a number of homepage designs options designed to give the client an idea of where we may take the brand. Once a concept is selected this is rolled out to the pages which we’ve identified as requiring their own template design – we like to think mobile first so often we’ll start out with both mobile and desktop designs. At this point, the client will often have multiple rounds of amends to fine tune the design to their requirements.

Full stack development

After the designs have had their final round of amends and have been signed off, the layered files are handed over to our development team. They then pull together the designs into a functioning website adding in transitions and elements as outlined in the development brief.

Testing and fixing

As the development is nearing completion the first iteration of the website is released for alpha testing internally. This testing allows the Black Lab team to work on the site to check for bugs and issues which deviate from the expected functionality or the design of the website. These issues are tracked using a project management system allowing all users to follow the progress of the testing and fixes. Once all the points raised from alpha testing have been resolved the developer will then release the site for beta testing. This often (not always) constitutes a finished article ready for final internal testing and client approval. Any further amends or fixes may be raised at this point and applied by the team, usually after this step the site is ready for deployment; at which stage Black Lab press the metaphorical button and get your site live.

The above process is designed to guide all parties through the project process; naturally, each project is different and this system is adaptable as are we. Often questions arise and new functionality can be requested, we work to encompass this where possible to ensure the output meets the clients evolving needs. We’re always on hand so if you’re looking for a new website, then make sure you get in touch at [email protected]

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