The success of a website is largely impacted by the process used to create it. After all, an effective website requires the proper understanding of the audience, competitive analysis, strategy, and architecture in addition to its aesthetic and functional components. One hot trend right now in the world of web design is agile development, which promises a fast, yet effective approach to creating websites.
Agile development sometimes referred to as “scrum” or “rapid prototyping,” is a development method that allows for the best possible solution within a set time frame. It allows for an evolution of the project through a recurring process of a rapid team and user feedback. Essentially what that means is that agile development is a process of continuous review and recommendation by both the client and developers.
The rapid prototyping process starts out by establishing the goals and audience of the website as well as understanding the brand identity. Information Architects and Designers then take that information and develop wireframes and then design concepts. The client can then make requests for changes. From there, revisions are made and final designs are presented. The process continues until both sides are satisfied with the outcome.
Benefits and pitfalls of agile development
Time savings – decisions are made and changes are implemented on the spot
Ability to react to changes quickly – if you don’t like something it can easily be changed back
Multi-skilled input (designer, strategist, developer, client, producer, etc.) – Everyone works together to make sure the site is both beautiful and functional
Forces all parties to see the big picture and not waste time on non-essential details. – Since the agile design process is meant for speedy delivery it does not allow for non-essential details to come into play.
No team consensus – The team leader makes the final decision to make changes or move forward.
Intensity can lead to burnout – Since the agile design is high-intensity people can become burnt out easier than with the waterfall method.
At our web design firm, we incorporate some aspects of Agile Development and Rapid Prototyping into our process, while other aspects are more unique, such as creating multiple design concepts in order to provide choice and conducting user interviews in order to maximize our understanding of users’ needs. When exploring approaches to web design and development, we recommend considering multiple approaches and modifying them as necessary to create the most effective website for your organization. Feel free to let us know what types of processes you’ve used and what has your experience been.