News | 22 August 2018

The tools behind a successful website build

Invision

Predominantly used by our design team, InVision is a prototyping tool that allows us to quickly and easily create interactive mockups of our designs, which can be anything from web design to print. It makes presenting our designs to clients much more effective than sending out PDFs or screen shots.

From a digital/content perspective, InVision is really handy for keeping track of feedback between clients and our design team and also within our teams internally. The ‘Design & Collaboration’ feature offers real-time conversations between users. Similar to commenting on PDFs or word documents, users can leave feedback directly on the element they’re referring to. With threaded comments attached to a specific point on the design, InVision creates a list of all comments in a neat, ordered fashion sorted by date, screen, read, unread and more. Off the back of this, InVision then creates a ‘Activity Feed’ where you can see who has or hasn't reviewed our designs and follow up for missing input. This saves trawling back through old emails and documents for feedback, everything is saved on the InVision cloud.

Zeplin

Once our designs have been officially signed-off via InVision, the next stage of our smooth transition between design and build is getting set up on Zeplin. This is where our designs really start to come to life for our developers - this is the ultimate collaboration tool between designers and developers.

Zeplin allows our designers to turn their designs into specs and guidelines and create generated platform-related code snippets without having any knowledge of programming or code. Not only does this make our developers lives 10 times easier, it gives our designers an extra incentive to get their designs absolutely pixel perfect before we go into build, leaving no guesswork for our developers. With tight deadlines and budgets, it’s essential these creases get ironed out before the digital team get stuck in.

Similar to InVision, Zeplin also has its own commenting system called ‘Notes’ which allows for real-time collaboration between our two teams.

GatherContent

When it comes to our big website builds, content can often get a little out of control. GatherContent helps us to centralise our clients website copy, whether it's from their old website, or in disparate folders, documents and emails, GatherContent makes sure we do not drown in endless Excel and Word documents.

Our favourite features include:

  • We can define rules for content (e.g. word & character limits)
  • We can set requirements for content, what’s needed and who is responsible for what stage of the workflow
  • We can migrate content straight from GatherContent into our CMS, Umbraco.

Google analytics/Reporting

Once the website is built and live to the public, the work doesn't stop there. Many of our clients want to know how their website is performing and how they can continue to improve their site going forward. Google Analytics is your go to hub for website performance - a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that offers a wide range of real-time data.

With content marketing being an important factor to a company's digital footprint, we find that ‘Behaviour’ data is an important indicator for our clients, they want to know how their content is performing (e.g. news articles, case studies, video content) and how they can continue to develop content that is relevant to their target audience. Under the Behaviour tab within Google Analytics, you’ll find information on page views, average time spent on pages and bounce/exit rates - all key factors to understanding how a user is interacting with your content.

It’s all well and good having access to this data, but in some cases it can be a little overwhelming and difficult to understand to your average joe. At Embrace we offer our clients a monthly report that details all this information in a visual, easy to read report. Not only does this help our clients to understand the performance of their website, but it also gives us a nice opportunity to keep up-to-date to see all our hard work being put into practice.

Author
Danny Munns,
Digital Producer