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San Diego Web Design and Development For Growing Businesses

Part 1: How Is Web Development Similar To Building Your Dream Home?

April 17, 2014 - 7:30am -- goldlilys
Part 1: How Is Web Development Similar To Building Your Dream Home?

"Architect is the designer of the dream space into which a dreamer brings a subject … it's the chance to build cathedrals, entire cities, things that never existed. Things that couldn't exist in the real world." - Cobb from Inception

Websites are a reflection of our reality. Reality is different for everyone. Some like to spend their time to travel and meet new people. Some like to stay in one place and are satisfied with constant routine. And there are some who like to stay in the dream world between physical space of running a business and digital world of web development. The first and the last are the activities I try to balance out.

Whenever I travel to different places, I always watch for unique buildings or architecture that cannot be found in my hometown. Why? Because architecture is a form of art that is designed to make people's dreams into a reality. Its techniques can also be used as an inspiration for developing websites. While architecture takes up physical space in the real world, websites take up digital space in the World Wide Web.

How exactly are websites similar to architecture or building a home? The following is phases applied by both:

1) Discovery Phase or Information Gathering

Architecture

  • Homeowner or building owner must discuss their ideas with an architect for their house or site
  • The architect visits the location of where the building should be built to review existing conditions, measure how big the land is and what needs improvements
  • Then the architect visits the city council building department to review past records of the building/land to see if there are problems that are not visible to the naked eye
  • Next, the architect creates floor plans of the current conditions and improvements that can be made and shows it to the enthusiastic owner
  • Before work gets started, an architect must gather the necessary permits to make changes to the building/land
  • The construction workers are chosen either by the architect directly or by the owner
  • Once approved, agreements are signed and a work plan is created to outline the phases

Websites

  • Client must discuss their ideas with a web developer and web designer for their website
  • After the initial discussion, the web developer and web designer takes a closer look at the client's existing website to see what can be improved on or what it would take to create a new website
  • The web developer and web designer creates wireframes as rough sketches of the ideas discussed during the initial interview. These wireframes consists of the features and skeleton look-and-feel that the client mentions and other suggestions
  • Wireframes are shown to the client for changes and approval
  • When the wireframes are accepted, a written agreement is signed and an estimated timeline is planned

2) Design Phase

Architecture

  • Architect creates three – four preliminary schematic design concepts coming from the information gathered in the first phase
  • The architect figures out how everything fits together
  • Graphics, illustrations and sketches are designed to represent relationships and functions of spaces (bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms, etc)
  • The materials and their cost for the overall project is discussed
  • Architect has multiple meetings with the owner to help him/her make decisions from the schematic design options until an overall design is chosen before the development phase

Websites

  • Coming from the wireframes, the designer can use that to design three – four design concepts
  • The design concepts are discussed with the web developer first to make sure they are all feasible with the available technologies/tools necessary to develop the functions for the website
  • Once checked by the web developer, the designer showcases these designs to the client
  • The client must make final decisions for every page design, elements, color schemes, typography, look and feel, user interactions and call-to-action interfaces of their website
  • Designer provides completed design style guides to the client and the web developer so he/she can use that to theme the website's Front-end during the development phase

What do you think is involved in architecture or building websites after the planning and design phases? Do you have anything in mind? You may already have some of the ideas if you have read my previous blog posts. Hint: check out the tags below.

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