At Headscape we work collaboratively, both with our clients and each other. Designer, developer, project manager, client and other stakeholders in a project should be actively engaged with each other and the project. Effective websites cannot be produced in isolation.
Design with data
Design is subjective. What one person loves, another hates. Therefore the only way of being sure of the most effective design is to test and test often.
We should be gathering data at every step of the web design process, from initial research through to design and usability testing. This data should be informing our design, rather than it being at the whim of personal opinion or company politics.
Build through iteration
Developing a website should be an iterative process. A website should pass through a cycle of development, testing and refinement many times before launch. Where possible we should launch early with a minimal viable product and refine that as we observe real users interacting with the site.
Work from user needs
The design process should always begin with identifying users and their needs. Early in the process user stories should be created and customer journeys explored. These should be used as the basis for all decisions about the direction of the final deliverable. If a feature or piece of content does not meet a users need, a strong case needs to be made for its inclusion.
Business objectives focused
Although user needs should drive a project, this needs to be within the context of the business objectives. Clearly defined business objectives should be established up front. They should be translated into measurable key performance indicators that are continually tracked. If a feature cannot be justified in terms of return on investment, it shouldn’t be built just because there is a user-based desire for it.
User experience extends beyond the website
Headscape recognises that the user experience extends beyond the website. We therefore consider it important to map the entire user journey and consider the website within the context of social media, mobile and offline touch points.
Our work should be accessible
We believe that websites should be accessible to the broadest possible audience. This means websites should be accessible to users with physical or cognitive impairments, but also users on older technology, with poor connectivity or using alternative devices. We believe this should be achieved not through multiple sites or applications, but using progressive enhancements and techniques such as responsive design.
We are client centric
We believe it is not enough to provide our clients with an effective website. We also need to create a websites that our clients love. Our clients have to work with their websites long term so it is important that they are passionate about it. We achieve this by ensuring the process of creating a website is enjoyable and that our clients feel a sense of ownership over the final result.
Our role is not just to build websites. It is also to educate our clients about digital best practice. It is our job to empower our clients through education and equip them to run their own online presence. Alongside this we are also committed to educating the broader web community and promoting best practice whenever possible.
Keep looking ahead
Finally, we are committed to keeping our clients informed about new innovations. New developments in best practice continually appear and we see it as our role to remain at the forefront of these changes.
That said, Headscape does not believe in applying cutting edge techniques to client projects. New techniques need time to mature before being applied to business critical systems. Although we look to the horizon we are focused on what can be safely implemented today.