By its nature, our work is often complex, involving strategic considerations, clients’ business objectives, creative design, process development and technology—all aimed at achieving effective solutions. For this reason, we employ a consistent, proven approach across all of our engagements, both large and small.
Our process utilizes reviews and approvals as a system of “checks and balances” designed to ensure that key tasks are executed, that key dates for deliverables are met and that important project information is communicated and recorded. Because each client has unique needs, we adapt our process to each project’s requirements while still following an established project path that is understood by everyone involved.
Our process is highly collaborative, with designated points of contact on both the client side and, internally, through the Hodgson project manager. We understand the importance of utilizing the specific subject matter expertise that our clients offer, and we partner closely with them throughout the process in order to ensure that our solutions truly meet their needs and fulfill all project objectives.
Detailed below is a series of phases which we employ to design, develop and integrate web properties.
The purpose of this phase is to establish criteria, specifications, requirements and business goals from which the creative and technical design can begin.
During this phase Hodgson defines all the relevant factors for the project by answering questions like these: Who is your audience? What is the objective of this project? What do we need to know to plan for future development? Is there a return on investment you are seeking? What other websites have you seen that appeal to you? What is your corporate brand and messaging? What colors would you like us to employ on the website? What are the technical restrictions around which we need to design and develop? Most importantly, what criteria will make this project a success to you?
This phase concludes with the delivery of a technical and design brief, which states our understanding of the criteria that we will use to move into the design phase. The client then reviews and approves this technical and design brief.
The goal of this phase is to design the creative, technical and business rules that meet the criteria outlined in the define phase.
Hodgson designs a user interface that meets the brand expectations and positioning, the technical requirements and the business objectives set out by the define phase. We establish color palettes, logo rules, tag lines and visual elements, and we combine them with intuitive navigation and content to present unique interface design directions.
Hodgson also creates an information architecture consisting of a high-level navigational model, a set of storyboards and page-level architecture.
This phase concludes with the review and approval of the information architecture and the user interface design signal.
During this phase, the goal is to produce and execute the design—both technical and creative—and to render the resulting design into the desired deliverable format.
Hodgson takes the approved design signal and develops it from artwork into a fully functioning website. This process includes the following steps: the optimization of imagery; the manipulation of content into the design layout and into the database; the production of any charts, logos or diagrams; and the development of pages / templates. Following successful completion of these tasks, Hodgson tests and modifies the files to meet functional requirements and defined specifications.
This phase concludes with the review and approval of the functional website.
Integrate (Soft Launch)
The purpose of this phase is to deliver the developed or produced materials to the desired environment.
Hodgson moves the functional website to the production server for final testing. At this point, only minor modifications to the website files need to be made, if any. Most of the modifications that need to be made are related to the server configurations and to the function of the specific workflow.
This phase concludes with the review and approval of the website and a written communication to go live.
Operate (Live Launch)
Here, the aim is the execution and operation of the final deliverables.
Hodgson conducts another testing sweep of the website and then posts it live. Following the go live action, Hodgson makes one final test sweep of the files.
This phase concludes with any in-house training that needs to occur, along with the definition of the maintenance schedule, contracts and terms.