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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Phase 4 Summary

The production phase is probably the most straightforward phase in the Core Process. You actually produce and build the site. There is little room for improvisation. Production is a straight shot from start to finish: Query your client, compose the Client Spec Sheet, consult on feasibility with the visual designers and the information designer (Phases 2 and 3), build the Protosite and test functionality (Phase 3), receive the graphic templates from the visual designers, slice and optimize graphics, build HTML templates and integrate light scripting, build and populate individual pages, integrate complex functionality and backend applications and/or engineering, and test. Then breathe. Then build the HTML Style Guide and prep for handoff (Phase 5).

Why involve the production team throughout the entire process? Quite simply, without advance checking, testing, and confirming, the building phase can be risky. You may as well get off a ski lift and ride down any random run without checking its skill level. Think of the possible crises: finding out as you build the HTML templates that your pull-down menus block the contracted advertising space, or trying to slice and optimize a layout that simply does not translate to HTML. Either of these scenarios would involve chalking up as a loss the numerous hours spent coding. The team would have to backtrack, and if the launch date is firm, you might not have enough time.

Not to worry, however. The Core Process sets you up so that production can get pulled off with minimal hitches. Sure, you encountered bugs — every site has them. Be thrilled that production is done! Well, almost. Your site is built. It is logically organized and will be easy to maintain thanks to well-thought-through HTML. Your site is bug free. It is user friendly. It looks exactly as your visual designers intended. You are ready to take care of launch and what follows. If this were that pie we mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, it would be baked.

Now get ready to serve.

Phase 4 Check-Off List

Prepping

Compose the Client Spec Sheet

Assess project status

Building

Set file structure

Receive graphic templates from the visual designers

Slice and optimize graphics

Create HTML templates

Implement light scripting

Build individual pages

Populate individual pages

Include invisible content

Integrate complex functionality and/or backend engineering

Freeze production

Testing

Create QA plan

Conduct QA testing

Prioritize and fix bugs

Conduct final check

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