Web Development Process - A Unified Theory
There are many flavors describing the web development process; most revolving around a discover / design / develop phase system. Any version of a development process is essential to follow. But it's entirely possible to successfully go through a web development process and miss the boat on the finished product.
How can that be? Business leaders need realize just how deep a web site development project can be, or should be. Really, every web site built has a stack similar to the below diagram, just some of the elements have been devalued or not considered.
Click illustration to enlarge
Stacking it up.
There are really only four main layers of a typical web site:
- Technology - The hardware/software configuration which powers everything. Linux/Apache/MySQL/Php or .NET - it's a choice that effects cost, speed and reliability.
- Business - How a web site promotes what your business offers it's clients for customers.
- Framework - The layer we interact with. Choosing the right framework can open infinite possibilities and save development dollars.
- Brand Messaging - The top layer of interaction, resulting in a transaction (product, information, service) between business and customer.
- Stopping the planning at Framework removes the value of the brand interaction.
- example - Just "getting a web site up" without thought to brand identity and messaging removes the possibility of meaningful interaction
- Exclusion of the business layer leaves the top-level brand with nothing to really promote.
- example - Without being matched to the base business purpose, a well-designed web site and solid framework is all dressed up with no where to go.
- Branding efforts are effected by the choice of framework.
- example - "Can we add a user comments area?" Some frameworks allow a quick change. Others do not.
Open for thoughts and comments.
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