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  1. #51
    SitePoint Addict NetNerd85's Avatar
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    I think the term wireframe confuses a lot of people, I wrote the meaning of my use of the word so people wouldn't be confused. I think generally this is what people mean by wireframe as I have read about it in a number of resources. I have only just started drawing my layouts on paper, then I code them up in plain HTML. Some CSS maybe needed for structure but do not add styling.

    I have started using the technique of Epicenter Design - from Getting Real
    Start from the core of the page and build outward. Epicenter design focuses on the true essence of the page the epicenter and then builds outward. This means that, at the start, you ignore the extremities: the navigation/tabs, footer, colors, sidebar, logo, etc. Instead, you start at the epicenter and design the most important piece of content first.
    The epicenter is the purpose of the page so why start with headers, footers and navigation (and adspace) when the important part is what you must start with. After all it is the purpose of the page.

    Purpose in web development is critical. Your website must be developed around tasks. If you do not build your website around tasks then it will end up at the bottom of Google. People go to websites for reasons. People go to bank websites to make online transactions and are given the right interface to do so. People go to YouTube for a laugh and are given the right tools and interface to do so.

    Website development evolves from people needing to complete a task. Developers plan and analyse those requirements and build a web site application. Then some dudes come along and build the layout deciding on the best interface by developing wireframes. Then and only then can designers come in, designers have the important role of making the website look nice and convey the message of the company while not pissing the purpose away in the hopes of being a cool web designer

    A website designer creates the presentation for meaning and message not the meaning and message themselves.

    The worst designers I know don't even think about people using the website or what the client wants to express as the "image" for their company.
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  2. #52
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    thanks to all who replied,
    i guess it really comes down to personal preference, i think im going to try doing both in seperate order (design -> develop, develop -> design) on my up and coming projects, to see which method(s) seem to paint the bigger picture at the end of the day; im also thinking about analysis of time management between each process.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewGwood View Post
    i think im going to try doing both in seperate order (design -> develop, develop -> design) on my up and coming projects, to see which method(s) seem to paint the bigger picture at the end of the day
    You should also add to this: "design and develop simultaneously".

    My experience has been that there is no right or wrong way, and over time you will find yourself shifting from one to the other based on the context of the project you're working on. So, understanding how each method works (and differs from the others) is good knowledge to have.

  4. #54
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    As long as you keep your logic and presentation layers seperate it shouldn't matter 'that' much. Just make sure you plan your application and consider its requirements before you code, and that you consider information architecture before you design and code.

  5. #55
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    the first thing you should do is, weighing designing your site and implementing any back end capabilities, which one is more important to you to accomplish your dream.
    for me implement back end capabilities will come first, I'll learn sufficient knowledge before I start my own site designing.

  6. #56
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    If I were you I will design first and then develop, because how can you develop something that has no design. lol

  7. #57
    SitePoint Zealot Rexibit's Avatar
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    By design, I trust that you mean developing the look and feel of the site. Let's take a step back for a moment and focus on "design" in terms of "planning."

    If you spend, let's say a day, time planning your site and what you want from it before you design or develop the back-end, then you will come up much better in both of those areas.

    You should plan first, find what is "actually" needed, and then continue to break down these needs and what it will require. From this point, you should know what you need your "design" to encompass. This is necessary to know how the back-end should work.
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  8. #58
    Django Jedi neron-fx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetNerd85 View Post
    This is brilliant and have to agree with the pure logic of this process. If you don't nail down the HTML wireframes (website without CSS or graphics) and the functionality then you will get feature creep. As someone who works in a web development company I see them make this mistake all the time (I have experience with another company as a Team Leader so I've seen it all before). In my spare time I develop things for myself - so I am the client and users. It is very easy to keep adding to a project if you don't have the discipline or the balls to stand up to a client (most people don't which is frustrating). I constantly have to re-do things for clients because of communication break downs and poor project management, it's called a PHASED process people

    Great process neron-fx it's basically what I do too, I'm going to print it out now and pin up on my wall. I need it in my face as I have three new projects on the go got to stay focused.

    People should, no, must read Getting Real

    Thanks NetNerd, yeah it works really well for me and you are right. You need to stand up to a client when it comes to things like changes. You have to draw a line as to what becomes a Phase/Version 2 and charge approriately. I too have seen many companies cave in to every companies desire just because they dont want to upset them. Applications sprial out of control and grow to organically if this is allowed to happen. The golden rule for me is SET TARGETS and then GET THOSE TARGETS APPROVED!. Then ensure the client fully understands that any more mods or changes will have to wait for a V2. I dont mind organically growing and maturing apps but when you are working on projects of a very large scale you need to keep things very strictly controlled otherwise you will have a buggy mess of spaghetti code on your hands... and believe me. you dont want that!

    I find if I stick to all the golden rules that I have stated above and in my previous post that projects run very smoothly, on time and on budget. The result is a happy client, efficient work flow, minimal back tracking or rewriting of code, less time spent so more competitive rates and therefore more work!
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  9. #59
    SitePoint Zealot Rexibit's Avatar
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    I honestly hate scope creep. I am continuing to get it from my recent client, and I even laid out how changes need to be done. The sad part of it is is that I am just starting freelancing and I need his referrals from other business leaders since he is heavily involved with them.

    Rexibit Web Services
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  10. #60
    SitePoint Addict NetNerd85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexibit View Post
    I honestly hate scope creep. I am continuing to get it from my recent client, and I even laid out how changes need to be done. The sad part of it is is that I am just starting freelancing and I need his referrals from other business leaders since he is heavily involved with them.

    Maybe you can start obtaining referrals now? At the very least make sure you get paid for all additional work. Make this first client really happy, go above and beyond and as they say "kill him with niceness".
    a new day, a new beginning
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  11. #61
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    I usually start with the design, then put the design into HTML leaving placeholders for dynamic content, and after that I create the DB and the programming functionality to display the data on the site...

  12. #62
    SitePoint Zealot Rexibit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetNerd85 View Post
    Maybe you can start obtaining referrals now? At the very least make sure you get paid for all additional work. Make this first client really happy, go above and beyond and as they say "kill him with niceness".
    Good advice. This client has already hinted at more work, so hopefully it will go well. I have several other prospective clients lined up, but they are trying to get the information from their past web designer (which seems to not get back to them).

    It's a mess, but I think it will work out. In the meantime, I am looking at contract layouts to ensure everything is covered well.
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  13. #63
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    Develop first .. design not much matter nowadays if you don't have online shop .

  14. #64
    SitePoint Guru Dijup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genetrix View Post
    Develop first .. design not much matter nowadays if you don't have online shop .
    if you think, then almost every concept you think can be found in open source so i think in that way there is just the requirement of the designer to redesign the site and publish it. So we need design first.

    and almost 80% of the user looks for the UI design.

    you can take the example of Symantec.

  15. #65
    SitePoint Zealot Ken Sharpe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    the first thing you should do is wireframe the user interaction to understand what actions the user will take and what responses the back end must make

    then design the database to support the interactions

    then design the site

    then develop the backend and site in tandem
    I read the first page of this... there's a lot of blah blah blah -- the correct answer is above. Iterate the process frequently, as well.

  16. #66
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    If the site is simply navigation to static information, design and development are so intimately connected they're difficult to separate, and the logical mode of operation can be based on personal preference.

    If the site is more of a user interface to a database application and is going to require database design and a lot of backend coding, I follow three initial steps religiously, before creating any code or images or sketches or data tables:

    1. Learn about all the outputs that will be required and the purposes for which they will be used. This knowledge can only come from interaction with your client -- and not just with one contact person, but with everyone you can talk to who'll be using your product. Key questions: "What have you been doing or how have you been doing this before?" and "What do you expect will be better or different with this new system?" Copies of currently used forms and boilerplate documents, and screenshots from current software, can be enlightening.

    2. Write a detailed user manual. Doing this first may seem backward, but it forces you not only to see the big picture, but also to put yourself in the user's shoes and to work out a level of detail you probably wouldn't have thought of otherwise. And by saying "click the View button to display the report" in the manual, you have created that button and defined its function, even though no actual design or development has taken place. You might even have your client review that user manual before proceeding.

    3. Convert the user manual into a detailed description of data structures, program functions, and UI elements. You can do this however you want, but for me, the output from this step is written, as comments, into otherwise empty HTML/PHP template files, program code files, and database description files.

    NOW I'm ready for design and development.

  17. #67
    From space with love silver trophy
    SpacePhoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veg0matic View Post
    If the site is simply navigation to static information, design and development are so intimately connected they're difficult to separate, and the logical mode of operation can be based on personal preference.

    If the site is more of a user interface to a database application and is going to require database design and a lot of backend coding, I follow three initial steps religiously, before creating any code or images or sketches or data tables:

    1. Learn about all the outputs that will be required and the purposes for which they will be used. This knowledge can only come from interaction with your client -- and not just with one contact person, but with everyone you can talk to who'll be using your product. Key questions: "What have you been doing or how have you been doing this before?" and "What do you expect will be better or different with this new system?" Copies of currently used forms and boilerplate documents, and screenshots from current software, can be enlightening.

    2. Write a detailed user manual. Doing this first may seem backward, but it forces you not only to see the big picture, but also to put yourself in the user's shoes and to work out a level of detail you probably wouldn't have thought of otherwise. And by saying "click the View button to display the report" in the manual, you have created that button and defined its function, even though no actual design or development has taken place. You might even have your client review that user manual before proceeding.

    3. Convert the user manual into a detailed description of data structures, program functions, and UI elements. You can do this however you want, but for me, the output from this step is written, as comments, into otherwise empty HTML/PHP template files, program code files, and database description files.

    NOW I'm ready for design and development.
    That's kinda the method I'm going to use for the development of the game that I'm making, i'm writing in as much detail as possible the help file for the game in a wiki and will be using that as a guide when working out the final structure of the game, ie db tables, etc.
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  18. #68
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    people love this sort of debate for its sheer elasticity. Crowds gather to pull the debate apart, different words mean different and the same things, take too many posts to explain and leave you frustrated when someone doesnt agree with you, or use a different word fo the same thing.

    Design first.

  19. #69
    SitePoint Addict NetNerd85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veg0matic View Post
    1. Learn about all the outputs that will be required and the purposes for which they will be used. This knowledge can only come from interaction with your client -- and not just with one contact person, but with everyone you can talk to who'll be using your product. Key questions: "What have you been doing or how have you been doing this before?" and "What do you expect will be better or different with this new system?" Copies of currently used forms and boilerplate documents, and screenshots from current software, can be enlightening.
    You bring up a very good point here. In the case of using technology to replace doing a physical task, e.g. sending a letter vs sending a email you must make sure to make the process either the same with more financial benefit or an easier task with financial benefit. There is no point in developing a complex computer system that only makes a task more difficult for the user and doubles the amount of steps involved.

    To itseasyaspie it is great to read others experience and opinions, even if they make no case for their decision
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    never follow the crowd, the crowd is poor!

  20. #70
    Non-Member eautocad's Avatar
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    Have a good idea, then run with it. Keep your faith, and you'll succeed.
    Last edited by r937; Jul 27, 2008 at 03:16.

  21. #71
    SitePoint Member pet1's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you have already conquered both the front end and the back end of web site designing. Plus, from all the valuable replies you've had here, i think you will end up with a super site.

    As for me i would love to design my first site. Being a complete beginner at this i will need all the help i can muster from all you very seasoned coders, designers and experts. please go easy on me, with the various jargons as i really have no expierence what soever. Where do i start to designing my first website? Thanks to all those who reply.

  22. #72
    SitePoint Addict NetNerd85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pet1 View Post
    Sounds to me like you have already conquered both the front end and the back end of web site designing. Plus, from all the valuable replies you've had here, i think you will end up with a super site.

    As for me i would love to design my first site. Being a complete beginner at this i will need all the help i can muster from all you very seasoned coders, designers and experts. please go easy on me, with the various jargons as i really have no expierence what soever. Where do i start to designing my first website? Thanks to all those who reply.
    Well, what do you know? Do you know HTML or CSS? What do you know about the web, how it works and how to work with it?

    Have you met the google?
    a new day, a new beginning
    never follow the crowd, the crowd is poor!

  23. #73
    SitePoint Member pet1's Avatar
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    Thanks for your quick reply. the only thing i know about HTML and CSS is that people use these when creating web projects. Don't know how myself yet?

    the WWW to me is one big commumity globally. the hows? i'm hoping to pick that up along the way. the same way i learn every, trial and error.

    hopefully with the help of my fellow board members here, my mistakes will be fewer.

    have a good week-end, and thanks for your help with my learning.
    cheers.

  24. #74
    SitePoint Member pet1's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Hello again,


    Just had a quick look at another section of this board and saw that loads of information exists for total beginners like myself.

    i will take another look to see if there is anything that will help me in my search. thanks again.

    cheers

  25. #75
    SitePoint Enthusiast mexabet's Avatar
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    At least you need to start to learn about DOCTYPE, the basics of building a simple web page like:
    HTML Code:
    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
    <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
    <head>
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
    <title>The title of your page goes here</title>
    </head>
    
    <body>This is pet1's trial web page.
    </body>
    </html> 
    There are many online tutorials about designing web pages. Start with basic HTML and move on to creating dynamic pages.

    Quote Originally Posted by pet1 View Post
    Sounds to me like you have already conquered both the front end and the back end of web site designing. Plus, from all the valuable replies you've had here, i think you will end up with a super site.

    As for me i would love to design my first site. Being a complete beginner at this i will need all the help i can muster from all you very seasoned coders, designers and experts. please go easy on me, with the various jargons as i really have no expierence what soever. Where do i start to designing my first website? Thanks to all those who reply.
    The Best Is Yet To Come!


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