In This Chapter
Determining site goals and requirements
Creating a project plan
Building site maps and wireframes
Developing your content and visual design strategy
Testing, launch, and maintenance
Developing a professional-grade Web site is a big undertaking that is akin to producing a movie. With so many moving parts, people to wrangle, and steps involved — from compressing graphics to tracking bugs and licensing audio clips — you need to approach the madness with some sort of methodology.
A lot of fancy Web design companies like to refer new clients to their patent-pending, proprietary "five-step design process" to educate them on the chronology of the development process. The five steps are Definition, Design, Development, Testing and Launch, and Maintenance. The process isn't ultra-special or top-secret, it's just advanced common sense nicely spelled out for the client.
In this chapter, I take you through the process that most Web agencies and internal corporate devel-opment teams follow. Incidentally, the process is pretty much the same for DVD and mobile content development, so this is a must-read chapter.
As tempted as you may be to jump in and sketch out a new site's structure, Phase 1 should be a "discovery" period where you define the business goals and understand the customer needs you're designing for.