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    An often overlooked but essential part of any successful project is the planning and strategy stage.

    "Failing to plan is planning to fail" – Winston Churchill

    Before starting any development project we strongly recommend defining the following:

    • What do you do? - Define your objectives and goals and determine how your website will contribute towards them. Too often a company will create a website without considering how it will actually integrate with their business and help them grow.
    • Who are your audience? - understanding your audience, and their desires and needs, will help direct decisions and give clarity to best solutions. Knowing your audience will help determine your brand, image and tone of voice.
    • What is your message? – Having determined your objectives and goals, how do you then communicate those to your audience? Defining your message and making it as clear as possible will ensure that others can understand what you offer and how they can engage.
    • Who are the competition? – Are there similar websites already available? If so, what are they doing well, what are they doing badly, are there areas that have yet to be considered?

    A well-developed strategy helps keep the project to budget and ensures that the most effective solution is found.

    Worthers can help you by:

    We suggest that all projects undergo this crucial planning stage, and we can also offer planning support as part of our consultancy services package

    • Providing stakeholder reviews to develop an understanding of what is important to key individuals within your organisation
    • Extracting insights from your existing users or from your target audience and advise on relevant solutions
    • Persona development. We can build profiles of your potential website users and walk through your website in their shoes.
    • Creating a website, mobile or web application specification based on your goals and objectives as well as the needs of your users.

    Planning what happens after your new site goes live can be equally as important. Deciding how you will continue to develop your online approach to marketing, customer support, engaging in social networks, should all be considered at the onset to allow the project to be shaped accordingly.

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    The research stage involves learning who your target audience are and what their needs are. This stage takes the guess work out of your solution and ensures you create a lasting impact.

    Often during this stage, opportunities come to the surface which would otherwise have been missed. For example, it may become apparent through user surveys that many of your customers are looking for a product you are not yet offering but so easily could. Or even that the simple website your message communicates has been completely misinterpreted.

    Worthers can provide the following research solutions to complement your strategy and planning stage:

    • Surveys (to existing users or to target audience)
    • Demographic research
    • Analytical research from your current visitors (location, times, devices used, etc)
    • Live user activity - discovering how users interact with your site. What do they find easy or difficult, enjoyable or frustrating.

    Each project has its own research needs and Worthers can advise on which approach is best. Through all this you will be able to confidently invest in your site, knowing you have made decisions based on facts rather than estimations.

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    Does your website pass the 5 second test?

    A well designed website will emphasise key content and bring your message to life. A new visitor to your site should be able to understand the purpose of your website within 5 seconds of landing on your homepage.

    "We find that people quickly evaluate a site by visual design alone." — Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility

    Going live with a well-developed brand and well-designed website are key to success. Good design isn't just about making things look nice - it's about problem solving and crafting a solution that's just right - for you and for your audience. Good design is always centred around your website’s content and ensures it is visually promoted in a way which has the greatest impact.

    We can offer a full branding package, including logo design, appropriate typefaces and complementary colours - all developed around your goals and target audience, helping you to better communicate who you are and what you do.

    As part of designing a website, we always create design concepts before writing any code. This gives you the chance to ensure the design is perfect and gives clarity and confidence about how the end product will look. We always allow you to get involved and steer the design to your requirements.

    During the design stage we are able to craft a great user experience and we have the opportunity to ensure the site has the right 'feel'.

    Often, good research will help steer the design. For example, finding out that the majority of your customers are using mobile devices would suggest that designing with mobile in mind first would be a wise approach.

    We attribute our success as a company, in part, to our ability to develop beautiful, well thought through designs. Our clients have also experienced undeniably significant benefits from focusing on good design.

    We offer the full range of design expertise required for a web project from branding through to website designs and storyboards.

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    The development stage is the structural foundation of creating a website and represents the most labour intensive part of any web project. We use HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery to make our sites function well, look beautiful and to make them interactive and responsive to various platforms.

    We use best practices to ensure our websites will be accessible on different devices and screen sizes and ensure our sites have good usability for visually impaired users.

    'Responsive design' is a relatively new term. We use this approach to make a website work on different screens and devices, ensuring it operates well across them all. The site is 'responsive' because it responds to the environment it's viewed in.

    We often use a powerful database called MySQL for storing your site's data and a coding language called PHP to talk to the database and process your data. We can build small elements of functionality as well as large applications using PHP. Also using our Vexillum system you will be able to manage all the areas of your site that you wish to.

    Whilst developing your site we offer access to the development area so you can see it taking shape and stay involved in steering how things look and work. We also use online project management tools and give you access to view discussions, files, timescales and documents.

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    Every site we produce is tested on different environments to ensure it works as expected. We will check a site on different browsers and operating systems, as well as different screen sizes.

    At this stage we also give the client the chance to do their own acceptance testing, ensuring everything works as they expected.

    User testing is not only a service we offer at the onset of a project but one which can be extremely useful as a final check to ensure your site is going to be well received and used. User testing gives great insights into how users are receiving your site and if any final tweaks are needed. There are several levels of testing to suit the depth of detail required and your budget.

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    "Houston, we have lift off"

    Once you are happy with the website we make it live on an agreed launch date. After the launch, we continue to monitor the site and ensure it is working well. We are available to quickly respond to any teething issues that may occur, but we aim to ensure these are all dealt with in the test stage.

    Additionally, we continue to provide on-going support for all our customers using our Vexillum content management system to manage and edit their website. Support is available by email or telephone - if you are having trouble editing some content or setting up your email, we are available to guide you through any difficulties.

    Finally, we are always available if you need to call us further down the line. However, if you would like the peace of mind that we are always watching over your website and ready to respond immediately to your support needs or changes, we have tailored support packages available to suit all requirements.

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