Things can move quickly in web publishing. There are unannounced code updates that create bugs, critical pieces of information that need to be released immediately or looming deadlines that cause you to suddenly realize you need an extra hand (or several) on a certain project.
At WerkPress, we handle projects like this regularly. Unfortunately, a comfortably distant deadline that allows for well-paced milestones doesn’t always happen in the real world. When your site needs to go live as soon as possible, we find a way to make it work.
This is the most important aspect of any project, and doubly so when quick turnaround is a requirement. Start with identifying the problem. What is the desired behavior and how does that differ from what currently exists?
Example: The hover state for portfolio thumbnails should contain a title and excerpt on a light grey background. Currently there is no information displayed.
Next, try to imagine your user scenarios and account for anything you can think of. We may chime in during this step to make sure everything is clear.
Example: The title should display centered, in all caps, 16pt Arial bold, underlined. The excerpt will be limited to the first 40 words, 12pt Georgia and left-justified. All text will be in #000000.
When the cursor moves over the image, the text and background will fade in rather than “pop”. When the cursor moves away, it will fade out. If the reader clicks anywhere on the image they will be taken to the portfolio page.
This behavior only applies to the homepage. No hover states should be added to the portfolio thumbnails on internal pages.
With all of the scenarios and details described, we can get right to work. Our developers incorporate all the necessary changes in one round of development. The code updates are deployed to your server and we’re ready to move into testing.
Testing your updated code involves checking each of the required new elements to ensure they are present and implemented correctly, as well as accounting for scenarios that may have been missed during planning.
Example: Testing reveals fade behavior prevents links from functioning on tablet and other touch-enabled devices. Remove custom hover state from touch-enabled displays.
Once you have signed off on all the updates, the project is complete! You may opt to do a ‘soft launch’ at this point if your schedule permits, but often it’s necessary to move live right away. For this reason, we recommend carefully monitoring your site in the days following the launch so bugs don’t sit unattended for a long period of time.
After launch, we typically stay on-board for an additional 7 days to ensure nothing was missed. Reporting bugs early on in the maintenance period helps give you the most stable release for long-term use.
If you’d like to learn more about quick-turnaround projects you can read about the Waterfall Model development process. It will help you identify the important steps to go from problem to solution in no time.