The 5 Elements of a making a Website

After reading The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett, I decided to boil them down and list them here. This is very useful when planning a website and can help save time, effort and money.

1.) Strategy: What are your objectives and what are the users needs?

2.) Scope: What are the features, functions and technologies needed to meet the strategy?

3.) Structure: The logical flow of the site - where are users taken next after an interaction?

4.) Skeleton: The layout of the buttons and navigation that makes the most sense for the user.

5.) Surface Plane: The visual design, image animation, video, audio and text. Content is king.

Although the Strategy is the most abstract and the Surface element is the most concrete, everything builds on top of the strategy and all the elements rely on and effect each other. If one element doesn't make sense with another, costs will skyrocket as the development team tries to fit pieces together that don't fit.

To avoid website creation more complex than it needs to be, treat your designer as a temporary partner. Sit and discuss your ideas and visions with all the people who have the final decision. Take what the designer has to say, as well as the developers - they have the experience to help.