Vegas Visual Media specializes in building online ventures — new startups and strategic initiatives that are born on the Web. Online ventures serve their customers, prospects and suppliers exclusively via the Internet and build their brand through unique and rewarding customer experiences online. Vegas Visual Media combines strategic consulting, design, and engineering expertise to shape our client's business vision into an effective Web strategy.
Online ventures require a more in-depth understanding of a company's corporate mission and its preparedness for meeting its goals. We therefore address the core business needs, right from market analysis and online brand building to existing marketing and communication strategies of the company. The development process for each project is wrapped in a management layer responsible for the meeting of deadlines, schedules, budgets, and the building of teams and relationships throughout the project. Various teams are involved in creating a Request for Proposal that succinctly outlines the needs of the project from the client's viewpoint.
In this stage, we discuss with our clients important considerations like an appropriate domain name, content sourcing, point of contact in the organization and staff required for the online venture. Hosting and networking requirements are also discussed in this phase. Finally a requirement document is made for the concept planning.
The first real development step towards a solution takes place during the Concept and Planning phase. In this stage, the goals, messages, and audience for the project are explored and decided so as to create maximum impact. Market Research can sometimes provide parts of the answers but the overall goals and messages must be decided carefully by the client. The Requirement Document prepared during this phase addresses all the design requirements for the project. In addition to the above, it should also address the proposed Technology for the project, the market and the competition.
In this phase, the first examples of solutions are derived. This phase includes the development of many prototypes, often the first merely in paper and sketches, while later ones might be more elaborate. There are often two semi-parallel tracks of development. In the first, the experience (or front-end) team designs the interface for the experience while a programming team may be prototyping actual technology solutions. Prototypes, for the most part, are examples and not the final solution.
After the front-end interface is mostly finalized, it is time for the engineering team to integrate it into whatever technical prototypes they have been building. These technical prototypes are the results of research and development that concentrate on the back-end that enable the front-end to function accurately. It is essential that the front-end development proceed before the back-end decisions are finalized.
Finer details and residual queries can now be answered by team members, based on the notes from the previous two phases. The idea is that the careful planning will prevent an occurrence of major distortions that might change the scope or nature of the project. If this happens, however, it may send the project back to the Concept and Planning phase (that is, if the goals, audience, or messages sufficiently change), or at least, back into the prototyping stage..
At this point, everything should be finished and integrated into the Beta Build.
However, it is essential that every piece of the project is tested before it is launched. Testing here does not refer to User Testing but to component testing or Quality Assurance (QA). Every element and link must be checked on every page on every platform in every browser to create a professional product. Each series of testing, fixing, and rebuilding is labeled with a new release: Beta 1, 2, 3, etc.
Types of testing include Unit Testing (testing of every component), Integration Testing (checking the entire system works), Stress Testing (Testing the whole system under heavy load conditions), Content Testing (to be sure that the latest versions of content were used).
The Production Matrix is now reused as a Testing Matrix, for helping keep track of all of the tested elements and components. The Test Plan needs to encompass all testing objectives and coordinate multiple testers working independently.
At the end of the Testing phase, when all problems have been fixed, the project can be launched. However, this is not the end of the project. In many ways, it is only the beginning as the site will now need to be maintained with new content and interactions for as long as it is alive. While minor additions/alterations may be made, major ones will need to be added carefully and may require a new approach to be developed during a new design cycle (back to Concept + Planning). Some websites don't need a lot of updating, but those which have constant and continuous updating of data (such as an online news sites or stores) will need not only a sophisticated content management system, but the support system necessary to keep it running. Lastly, this is now the opportunity for the development team to reflect on the development process and review what worked well, what didn't, and why.