Success in today’s market means turnkey, integrated programs that connect with the audience and provide value for both the brand and the end user.
Those integrated programs include components such as custom-built apps, functional websites and unique microsites and EP offers those either as standalone entities or part of a larger campaign. We know it is up to us as the experts to lead our clients through the process, offering insights, best practices and forward thinking. And to that end, we follow a best practice approach.
According to EP’s UX / UI Graphic Designer, Dan Timm, this first phase is the most critical. “In order to create a successful digital project, you need to dig deep during discovery. Without the right information, it will be difficult to create the assets for the remaining phases accurately.”
Phase One: Discovery
EP’s most successful relationships start with an honest conversation. Although that is technically true for most relationships, in this case, it means an in-depth stakeholder conversation and potentially user interviews and field studies. This will lay a solid foundation for what is to come in the process.
Phase Two: Analyze
There are multiple tools that could be used during this analysis phase: affinity maps, user persona analysis, a user journey map and user stories. This is laying the groundwork for the design phase; the first two phases rely on collaboration to ensure the designer knows the overall goals and support materials.
Phase Three: Design
Here’s where the design work kicks in. The designer will utilize a user flow and information architecture to produce a wireframe and then a prototype. Because the designer will have the foundational knowledge from the first two steps, this portion of the process lays mainly on their shoulders.
Phase Four: Develop
Once the design is in place, it is time to develop to that design. That means building it out using frameworks and languages that are best suited for the website or app.
“Design and development are my favorite phases”, says Timm. “For me it's always exciting to take all of the data and strategic information and visually make it come to life during part of the process.”
Phase Five: Testing
Never skip the testing phase. This should include everything from usability to analytics and should be internal as well as external. An error could drive you back to either the design or development phase, but it is critical to tweak and retest prior to launch.
Phase Six: Launch
Decide what type of launch is best for the project, the client and the end-user. Is it best to do a soft rollout with additional testing and feedback? Are you ready to launch, but maybe off-peak so links can be retested and evaluated in their live state? Is there an announcement, a promotion, a media release or contest rules that need to be carefully timed with the launch?
Phase Seven: Assess
Once the site or app is live, available data and metrics will help determine any future changes. An additional consideration is to have a plan for maintenance, updates and security. For our clients, EP can execute these items or sometimes they want to be trained to perform these functions themselves.
There’s a few reasons that it might make sense to connect with EP in further detail about this. Does this seem like it could improve your next launch? Does your current agency not follow these steps, putting you at risk for challenges or failure? Or maybe it makes no sense whatsoever because this is all new to you? No matter which of those describes you, our team would love to review this process with you so email us at email@example.com to set up time to meet with our team.