What Are Website Deliverables and Why Are They Important?

How to get the most out of your website design

USING WEBSITE DESIGN DELIVERABLES TO HELP YOU STAY ON TRACK

So you’ve selected website design agency to build your new website and the contracts have been finalized. Now you’ve entered into your new agency’s design process and they’re talking deliverables, time-lines, wireframes, launch dates and all kinds of web-speak and you’re beginning to wonder if you’ve signed up for something to do for NASA.  Don’t fret, there are all sorts of terms in the web design industry that people use to describe their processes.  Some are pretty self-explanatory while other terms such as deliverables need clarification once in a while.

DELIVERABLES

In the web design world, the term deliverables refer to items that document phases of the website design process. Most often, they are documents that are significant elements of a website design that have reached certain milestones in the process. However, we also use the term deliverables as items needed that move the website design process along and keep everyone on track. Not all of these documents are shared with the client but they are useful tools to provide feedback to the web designer and to authorize approval to move to the next stage of the web design process.

Let’s review the 4 types of deliverables we use our website design process:

1. PROJECT BRIEF

Project briefs also known as creative briefs serve as an overall project definition document. It includes all the requirements and specifications of the project, including scope, audience, objective and call to action for the website that is being built. This document is also what becomes the springboard for the project plan that the agency will use to manage the design process.

2. WIREFRAMES

Wireframes are visual diagrams of a website and should possess the final navigation, although the page layout at this point in the process is rough. Wireframes can be made into clickable web pages, allowing the client to preview how the site’s navigation will work. Wireframes sometimes include pieces of content that the final web page will display.

3. MOCK UPS

The website design mock up is a composite image of how the final web page will look. The site’s colors, typography, images and content blocks are all worked out at this stage.  Mock ups should also include the pages that are significantly different than the home page. Even though it looks like a website, it is still only a single image. This gives the client the opportunity to provide feedback on the user interface elements of the design.

4. FINAL PROTOTYPE

As we begin the final phase of the website design process, the website design mock ups are converted into the code that displays the website in a browser. The site is built and tested on the subdomain of a development server that allows the client to review how the real website will display.

Once the final prototype has been approved, the site is now ready to be moved to the production server and launched.


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