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project process

My early years as a producer for agencies such as Sunbather, Razorfish, and Deepend taught me the importance of process as applied to digital projects. In practice, elements within this process can run concurrently - but all elements should be included somewhere in the schedule of work.

What follows is the process I would normally apply to projects on which I offer end-to-end services, but I'm comfortable working as an IA, UX designer, or technical consultant as part of a larger team.

01. Scoping Phase

The first phase is all about discovery. In order to get a feel for the project, and highlight any 'speed bumps' along the way, I would conduct interviews witht the client and potential users, as well as researching their market and competitors.

Typical questions would include:

Sample Deliverables:

02. UX Design Phase

Once the initial scoping work has been done, and agreement reached with the client on the best way to approach the project, I would normally work up a series of IA documents. These documents are created very rapidly and iterated through in a 'real-time' process with the client, making it a very collaborative experience.

Sample Deliverables:

03. Visual Design Phase

Clarity. Visual simplicity. Ease of use. My approach to design is extremely pragmatic, and does not tend to be influenced by fashion. I use typography, photography, illustration and css to create compelling websites that download fast and are accessible to all.

Design services can be as broad or as narrow as required - in the past I have created logos, print materials (e.g. letterheads, business cards, print advertising, brochures) to support online businesses in tandem with designing their websites. In today's brand-conscious society end-to-end design that is consistent in its brand message is an essential component of an organisations communications.

Sample Deliverables:

04. Prototyping/Implementation Phase

Using HTML, CSS and Javascript, I would create a graphics and content rich fully clickable prototype of the site to be implemented. This would normally include a clickable prototype of the home page and other key templates in the site, which would then be fully cross-browser tested using a dedicated test setup.

If appropriate I would then implement the design deliverables using the technology agreed upon in the scoping phase. This could involve developing a bespoke CMS and database driven back end, reskinning an existing site structure, or using 3rd party tools such as WordPress or Drupal.

Sample Deliverables:

05. Testing/Site Launch

I have developed a series of quantitative and qualitative user-testing documents which I use in concert with Silverback and Google Analytics to provide detailed user feedback measured against specific business goals.

Sample Deliverables:

If you'd like to use my services on your project, contact zelda at badzelda dot com.

what they say

Ben Campbell

London Review of Books

Zelda's contribution to our complex web project cannot be overestimated. The excellence of her design and IA work has been recognised within the LRB and, now that the redesigned and expanded site has been launched, is garnering much praise from our subscribers and site users.
November 2, 2009

Myrrhine Crowe

The Fostering Network

Zelda is very accommodating to work with and clearly knows the technical stuff so can talk to and work with technical staff directly which really helped move the project along. Her creative ideas really work and I needed to trust her vision when I didn't quite have it myself. She is also good at maintaining regular communication and I would be happy to work with her again.
November 4, 2009

Snorre Milde

Web Team Manager, IG Index

Zelda's primary role is as an expert information architect. She is willing to put her reputation on the line when it comes to doing what's right for the end-user. Throughout her long career in web projects she has acquired all the necessary skills for participating in just about any part of the tasks necessary for creating an excellent end-user experience. I rate her as a first-rate manager, particularly as she is never afraid to stop and reiterate processes when a project is veering off track. Such personal qualities are hard to come by, and they are very sorely needed.
January 21, 2009