How to deliver digital the CWA way
In the beginning
Lets start from the beginning when websites were just text and the maximum screen size was 800 px x 600 px. We were all accessing the super highway via 56k modems which cut off when the phone was picked up. Images used to load into the screen from top to bottom and even the fastest web page loaded in around 10 seconds. This was how it was and we were all so excited about it all. It was new and fresh, accessible and it is still this way today.
Dial up tone
OK, so things have improved somewhat. Over the years technology has meant that connecting to the super highway has gone from tricycle to concord. Computers are not the size of tower blocks any more, everything is smaller, more compact yet infinitely more powerful. The introduction of smartphones has meant that our job is not confined to the four walls of your office any more. We are free to roam and socialise both in real life and virtually. Now some may say that we have gone too far, but this technology is not forced. It is here to help, advise and connect you to anyone / anywhere / any time. You are no more than 3 clicks from anyone! amazing!
So where is this going?.......
CWA were there at the beginning and we would like to think if there is ever an end we would be there too! We have seen Microsoft and Apple battle it out and provide different flavours of similar projects.
Seen it ...
We have been there as developers jump from one development platform to another based on what is most popular at that specific moment in time.
Got the t-shirt ...
As technology has developed we have supported and embraced these changes. After each deployment CWA are on the pulse, researching and seeing how we could best implement or utilise the latest technologies.
So where do we differ from other agencies?We have a mature and confident outlook. CWA does not just jump on a bandwagon because the latest blogging bods have championed a new piece of technology. We research, evaluate and plan! This is the key to a successful project. Our history and experience allows us to know whether something is worth pursuing. Based on our findings we present solutions that simply work!
What’s our secret?
I have already given two away and that is research and planning. These are so important! I personally have seen too many agencies that jump in feet first without researching first.
Having knowledge of the market, providing statistics backing up there theories, knowing the target audience and understanding of the core business. These things take time but it is the responsibility of the agency to get this information before any planning takes place.
This takes many forms but it is simply laying out the project in a readable and understanding way. The idea being that anyone from any position can come along and understand how it all works without being bamboozled with long words, acronyms and techy jargon speak. Planning successfully is an art form and shouldn’t be underestimated. Over the years I have experimented with various forms of technical and functional specifications. All are very long and boring. Whilst they are correct in what they are saying it has been notoriously hard to get a client to sign off on them. Mainly because at that moment in time they don’t care how A joins to B via C. They just want to know that A and B exist. How they join is irrelevant.
At CWA this skill is fine tuned. We visualise everything and turn it all in to bite sized chunks. We understand what you want to see and make the early stages fun and interesting. We like to do this thoroughly but with a pace that keeps you captivated and focused.
Wire frames, what are they?Do we really need them, what's there benefit?
Absolutely and unequivocally YES
A wire frame is the skeleton to your digital project. It is as simple as that. There is no meat on there at all, just a outline of where all the elements will be placed. We are asked why are they needed? Well you wouldn’t dream of building a house without architects drawings, would you?
The wire frames also take into account how the website will behave on mobile and tablet screens. Another example of how our viewing platforms have changed over the years.
At this point, the user journey can be planned. This is the fun bit! It is more than just putting content together on pages. It is about getting into the head of your prospective users. Thinking about what they are going to expect to see when they click a link. It matters, if it is where they don’t want to be then there is a chance that they will leave 🙁
This all gets very interesting when you delve into the world of eCommerce. Now there’s another topic that we will share some thoughts on.
Design and creative input is something that CWA has oodles of experience in
Well we have retained large blue chip clients for 20 plus years through this and remarkable customer service! Our design team take the approved wireframes and add the meat. They work closely with our developers to make sure that the designs conform to best web practices, contrast ratios between text and backgrounds are at a acceptable level as we take accessibility very seriously. All designs are pixel perfect and to screen size.
Were almost there, well kind of ......
After the design process comes the bit which allows our developers to feel like pigs playing in mud. They get to bring the designs to life, add the features that have been research and meticulously planned for.
How the planned development is built really all depends on the type of project. We wouldn’t want to give too many secrets away at this point. All that needs to be said here is that no project is too small or large. We have never been beaten by a challenge and we will always find a solution.
Testing, everyone forgets to factor this in….not us!
As a rule of thumb whatever the time estimated to build the website, factor in ten percent extra as this will be your time for testing. Testing will go in rounds and really the number if rounds you go through is dependant on how thorough the agency is at finding and highlighting floors or potential issues. CWA generally have two rounds of testing.
Then comes the dreaded browser testing. All developers shudder when you talk about early versions of Internet explorer. We are no different and we develop to the latest technologies and then work backwards at the end. We do draw the line at IE8 though and will refuse to support anything older than this. If this is still what your viewing the internet your going to amazed when you upgrade.
CWA usilise a product called browserstack.com which allows us to simulate every operating system / browser combination. Finally the days of my desk looking like the starship enterprise are over!
Deadlines and delivery dates
We are a mature and together agency. Team work was invented at CWA and we deliver to a deadline, no excuses. It is our promise to you.
So we are finally there, hopefully at this point you are going to be excited and looking forward to your baby being unleashed.
At CWA we don’t stop here. Didn’y you know? We also host!!!
ISO 27001 Secure 24/7 Monitored Hosting
This is where we can get all geeky. We love nothing better than a Linux commandline. Who needs windows 🙂
We monitor the performance of everything we deploy. It is our job now to make sure your fledgling has the best possible start, and it grows with you as you and the technological world develops.
One thing you can be assured of, CWA will be here to support and guide you though all of it.
We run dedicated servers which are supported 24/7/365. This hosting solution is supported by the same ISO27001 that we work hard for.
Results and Analytics
So we have meticulously planned and researched. The project has been built and delivered on time and within your budget. Launching was flawless and it is sitting securely and comfortably on our monitored servers.
You think its all over, it is for you the client.
This is now where the performance is monitored. This can take some time, it is not an overnight job. It will be analysed over days / weeks and months. We use Google Analytics because its the best and to be honest, why would you use anyone else?
Depending upon your deliverables CWA will set out targets and goals. These goals can be anything from time on site, submission of an enquiry form or even more complex eCommerce order tracking / conversion.