We offer strategy, design, and implementation services for enterprise websites, intranets and business applications.
We employ a proven, collaborative and adaptive methodology that ensures comprehensive analysis of content, creation of user experience, compelling visual design, smart CMS technology and programming for every project.
Our patented process has been developed and refined over years of practice, practice, practice.
- We listen to you to understand your needs and to define the project.
- We immerse ourselves in your world and learn what you need.
- Using visual tools, we record the "as is" and design the "to be".
- Wireframes + data + interaction provide a blueprint to meet your requirements.
- We write code and deliver the project on time and on budget (or we hand it off to someone who will).
- But we don't stop there. We drive the project to completion, and provide premiere support moving forward.
The spiral path depicts the iterative nature of the design and development process, circling at least twice through Content, UX+UI, Design, Front-End, Back-End phases. This allows the team to learn and refine all aspects of the final website or application, which indeed makes it better.
What else we do
As part of developing the project Master Plan, we conduct an initial half-day “Discovery” session with key resources from the client. We have found that getting everyone in the same room for a focused interactive working session is the best way to both transfer knowledge between team members and to set high level goals for the project. We formalize team roles and responsibilities and set expectations for communications and deliverables as well as develop a detailed project plan to keep the project on track.
We recommend status is communicated weekly by way of a written status report and/or a check-in conference call with key stake holders. Cloud-based document tools are used to track issues and subsequent resolution which will also be reported on weekly.
For projects including interactive features (e.g., processes, databases, business functions), we work together to develop a functional specification of the steps, feedback, data and work flows required to accomplish your goals. We start by learning everything about your industry and your project. We immerse ourselves in your world so that we can design effective and elegant interfaces for your product or application. If a CMS is involved, each platform has an inherent set of assumptions that inform the content strategy. We work with you to understand your specific needs and then determine how best to accommodate data as it relates to your project needs. Narrative data, structured information with little or lots of codification, lists, document repositories and meta data techniques are explored as part of determining the best approach to content management for your organization and project. Artifacts from this phase include:
User Experience + User Interface
Information Architecture is the art and science of organizing content, data and functions and then maximizing the experience across the site. Based on an assessment, we develop the “network of content” and determine the depth, breadth, hierarchy and interdependencies across all data and features. This includes the overall site plan, navigation, label language, page layouts and a comprehensive list of UI elements that will be used across the site.
The goal is to create meaningful, cohesive and sustainable online interfaces that engage your audience. We figure out what works and start the process of redesigning what doesn’t. We help you focus on the planning, creation, delivery, and governance of data and features throughout the project. Ensuring that you have useful and usable data and features, accessed via a navigation system that is well structured and has high “findability” is vital to creating a positive and satisfying user experience of your website. Artifacts from this phase include:
- Site map + SEO terms
- Customer journey maps
- Social engagement
- Mobile + responsive development
Visual design employs artful communication, styling and problem-solving through the use of color, type, space and imagery. Maintaining identity standards and ensuring design continuity across all communications is critical to the success of your website visual design. In developing a new visual look-and-feel, we start with the Home page. This offers the best opportunity to engage your audience and entice further exploration. We explore typography, colors, imagery, graphic treatments and user interface elements to find the style that best resonate with internal and external audiences. The goal for the Visual Design is to create a clean, simple and flexible visual theme, templates and page layouts that evolve and extend over time and remain current and relevant. Artifacts from this phase include:
- Mood boards
- Home + page comps
- Colors + typography + graphic style
- Interactive Prototypes
- Visual design system
- Living Style Guide
Front-end UI Development
Establishing a base set of templates that can be used throughout your web application help ensure that there are consistent ways to navigate and access information and features. Good template design starts with a standard but adaptable grid for content and graphic elements. Layouts define content containers as well as the placement of menus, headers and supplemental information or features.
From the beginning, we design with mobile devices in mind. We design and build responsive web applications targeting all levels of resolution corresponding to desktop, laptop, phablet, tablet and smart phone. Structured Style Sheets used in conjunction with a well-conceived “skin and template” system ensures that content contributions are formatted consistently and your aesthetic and brand are sound. Relevant technologies include:
- HTML5 and CSS 3
- Bootstrap Framework and media queries for responsive design
Technical/application design includes an ongoing review of existing technologies and determining how to incorporate these into the new CMS platform. We will work with you to establish the new hosted environment for the websites to be consistent with existing standards. We will set up the new website environments according to security and access protocols as well as the CMS environment instances (e.g., Dev, Test, Production) to ensure that ongoing content publishing process is smooth, efficient and correct.
Content loading can begin once we have completed templates including all of the content containers and repeaters that hold the copy and assets. Ideally the you website team of editors and content providers has reviewed, edited, tuned (based on keywords) and generated all website content. Where possible, we leverage automated migration tools that programmatically move content from the current website to the new one. We also know that often manual copy/paste is required.
URL redirect mapping eliminates most of the errors related to URL paths from the old website by automatically redirecting to the new pages. In many cases there may be a direct one for one mapping to the new site, in other instances the redirect can be more general. The goal is to minimize 404 (page not found) errors.
Training + User Admin
Security design for all aspects of the CMS including roles for editors, approvers and possibly translators required to deliver the workflows provided by you.
Training is critical to putting you in complete control of its content. 2Plus2 will work with administrators as well as the identified content owners and approvers to create specific training curriculum for each role. Training webinars/sessions will be developed to deliver the actual training. These can be a combination of in-person and online sessions. Recording sessions for later playback ensures that the most people get the training they need, on their schedule. These recordings can be leveraged to build a “Help Library” for editors.
Documentation (user guide, style guide) is part of the final deliverable website. All user training guides, how to documents and style guides are delivered online, using the selected CMS. These sections of the website are part of the Administrative interface and are visible based on the user’s security role.
PM, QA + UAT
Project management keeps the project team informed and the overall project on track. Quality assurance + user acceptance testing includes rigorous internal testing process that encompasses unit tests, integration tests and structured QA testing of all content and features. We leverage JIRA for bug testing internally. We then hand the system over to you for User Acceptance Testing. Feedback from this process can result in additional JIRAs, changes to the UI or the addition of instructional text on screens. We expect at least two designated periods within the project development cycle where we will hand the site off to you for formal user acceptance testing.
Go-live support ensures a smooth overall implementation. Once the site has gone live, there will be any number of minor items that will surface. We include a preset number of support hours once the client has taken over responsibility of entering content. We have found that having someone to talk to and walk thru specific questions and issues has resulted in a smooth transition of ownership or your website or application.