Develop Early. Develop Often.

An explanation of our integrated content/design/development approach

When we brought web development in-house at Cosmic, we moved away from the assembly line approach to website design, content, and development. Instead of siloing each part of the process, we work on them in unison. Think of it like building a house. Once you’ve got a framework, a lot of activities happen at the same time. Work doesn’t proceed in order; first wiring, then plumbing, then ducting, etc. Instead, wiring, plumbing, ducting, roofing, siding, and more happen all at once.

We get our development team involved at the beginning of a project. Early development input might seem like extra work at the beginning of a project. But in our experience, it’s ultimately a time saver. It takes a lot of time to ‘fix’ a design element that doesn’t work later, after all of the design work is done. A late discovery can mean starting from scratch and possibly re-thinking an entire website.

Reality Check

Our designers love to geek out on cool new design patterns and to find daring ways to present information. We count on our developers to act as our reality monitors when we’re flying through the stratosphere of creativity. Killer new features or interactions may be buggy or not work as well as their creators imagined. An interaction or layout might look great on desktop, but not work very well on mobile. Building prototypes and starting development early in the process can point out problems before we get in too deep.

By their nature, developers pay close attention to details. And good ones, like ours, have a good design sense as well. They’re collaborating with our designers both on features and functionality and delightful user experiences.

Prevent Over-promising

Developing as we go prevents a client relations nightmare. You’ve heard the old adage “over-promise and under-deliver”. If we’ve sold a client on a certain interaction at the beginning of the project and then end up telling them that it actually won’t work, they’re going to be disappointed. We’ve found that it’s better to know our limitations when we’re still spit-balling ideas for the site, rather than offering a client results we can’t deliver.

Lastly, having developers actively engaged throughout a project prevents a development roadblock prior to launch. Of course, by its nature, development is typically the final piece to be finalized prior to a site launch. But when we develop early and often, our developers are just usually just wrapping up the details at the end of a project so that they’re ready to launch shortly after final content and Q&A are wrapped up.

Interested in hearing more about our process? Get in touch with us—we’d love to chat!

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