Craig Jamieson - An alternate approach to building a website

An alternate approach to building a website

Budgets are tight, so I needed to rethink how I build websites. The usual approach would be to research, wire-frame, design, build and launch. Okay so that’s, pretty simple and I’m being vague and skipping quite a few steps, but it’s not really important, I still do some of the things I might have skipped over. What was a huge time-consuming task, was getting clients to agree on a layout. This could get tedious, and even under contractual agreement to a set amount of reverts, clients seem to focus too much on unnecessary details, wasting huge amounts of time, which is of course money, something almost every client seems to have a shortage of. So I’ve taken a new approach. Given that most of the time, I’m involved from concept to execution, acting as designer and developer. I follow a different process, reducing the time it takes.

This is where I blow your mind!

I research, I wire-frame (briefly) and then I start building, then I do what we generally term as design. I have found that people respond better to a working site, so that’s what I do. I build the site, keeping it simple, avoiding focussing on the shine that makes the site beautiful. I build a framework, I add the content, navigation and general functionality. At this point, when the client agrees that I have met the functional requirements of the site, I pretty much skin it. Giving it the type of polish it deserves. I have avoided designing something, that changes multiple times before dev, during or after dev, which saves clients moolla.

A few warnings though. 

Not all clients respond to this route, they just can’t seem to be able to visualise the site. Working this route in a team environment might not work either as the design is in my head while I’m deving. Too much complexity might also require design first.

It’s unconventional, it takes experience and it takes a lot of faith by your clients. But it cuts down time, which means it cuts down costs and delivers on the “form, follows function” theory.