Imagine, Innovate, Implement, Iterate
With the above string of words as our mantra, we are able to achieve excellent and quick results in a fast-paced technological world.
Most internet-based businesses and web development companies usually take a very fragmented, chaotic and inefficient approach to their projects. Over the years, we've noticed some recurring elements of the projects we've worked on and we've been able to learn from these experiences and apply our knowledge towards a better project management process.
We do things differently. Every one of our team members are proficient in two or more areas, such as programming and design or design, programming and server administration. With each person able to do more than a single class of tasks, we don't suffer as much as other businesses do if a team member drops out or is unavailable and they also tend to perform higher quality work because they know how it's supposed to tie into other things.
Stoked Industries follows a very methodical process that is considered an Agile approach. Agile is a way of managing web projects and software development with emphasis on improved team communication and collaboration, early releases of software, in-depth client interaction and being responsive to change. Please see the Agile Manifesto.
Each project starts with an idea. It could be your idea or ours, or it could be an idea we both worked on. Neverthless, we start with an idea and build upon it in successive iteration cycles.
This cycle can be repeated as many times as desired. It can be applied repeatedly to a website's page, section of a page or even the whole site to progressively enhance it. The iteration cycle is used in every one of the projects we work on and it's helped us to stay on track, focused and get results quickly.
Let's review the major steps we take in each cycle:
Every project begins with a brainstorming session, gathering ideas and suggestions from both the client and our team members. Sketches are made and rough drafts are drawn up. If we are working with page-to-page flow, we storyboard them as well.
When the brainstorming cycle is done, the sketches and storyboards are collected and turned into page wireframes and site maps. Wireframing helps us to visualize how the elements of the page will be positioned and flow into one another before we begin adding the graphics. During this stage, we often also figure out what kind of features and functionality are desired and which ones can be programmed into the site. When this process is done, the graphics are created and optimized for quality & download speed. The files are handed off for programming and integration with the CMS.
During the development process, we code the web pages in your choice of HTML5 or XHTML and ensure standards compliance as well as cross-browser compatibility. The pages are developed directly in the template system and integrated with the CMS to save time. While the templates are being worked on, we also program the features & functionality of the pages being worked on. Thanks to this non-linear approach to development, we are able to rapidly develop the front-end and back-end at the same time.
We believe that deploying updates shouldn't be a pain in the ass. That's why we love to use version control software and automate as many tasks as possible, making it virtually painless to deploy an update or roll back to an older version. We're also strong believers in A/B Testing and if the project is updating an existing web page, this is when we'll test deploy the update to a select number of users to gauge the effectiveness of our changes and modify if necessary before live publishing it.
We believe that if every project follows our project management methods, it will be a very successful project done in a relatively short time compared to how long most projects take.