In lesson 9, the final lesson of the course, I went over the “Launch and Reset” phase. To start this phase, the development team of the website will go through a series of checklists that need to be reviewed before going through testing. These checklists are the Content Checklist, Design Checklist and Development Checklist.
Once these checklists have been reviewed, then the site goes through a soft and hard launch. The soft launch is a limited access launch for a select group of end users who will give feedback on the site. It is important to have only a limited number of users with access to the site so that you can collect and analyze data they produce.
I’m a gamer, so this process sounds a lot like beta testing, which is what game developers call allowing a select group of users early access to a limited portion of their game, so that they can collect data, as well as feedback. This gives the developers enough information to make any mechanic, graphic or design changes to the game before its physical, or digital, release. That release is probably similar to the hard release of website development, which allows all users access to the site.
Next is allowing a feedback loop for users, so that if they have questions or a report about the site, the question/report is triaged then given an answer.
The site will go through a final round of testing post-launch, so that you can ensure that the site is still working properly. This should focus on three key groups of users. New users, experienced users and legacy users.
Each of these users will have different types of feedback. The new users will tell if the site is intuitive. Existing users will inform you of any latent issues the site has that wasn’t apparent during their first experience with the site. The legacy users will tell you if the transition from the old site was easy to the new one, and will put up flags if there is content or functionality that used to be available but is now either not present, or hard for them to find.
Despite completing the all the phases to the web designing process, the web is ever-evolving and therefore the site must undergo evolving changes as well.