ERA404 engages clients to design and develop solutions with SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, & Timely) goals to qualify success and growth. Our process is broken into four phases: strategy, design, development and support. Our philosophy is centered around partnering with clients to ensure consistent oversight and visibility throughout the process.
Research and Discovery: When approached to begin a digital product (e.g., web site, mobile app, or digital product), ERA404 works with our clients to perform the various tasks to set the foundation of the application. This involves surveying the landscape to evaluate potential competition, researching existing campaigns to ensure that the new application fits within the existing strategy, and preparing the groundwork for the new application (working with USPTO and IP lawyers, setting up social media accounts, researching technologies and trends, etc.).
Strategic UI/UX: ERA404 begins working with the client to develop a user interface and user experience that concentrates on three main areas of user interaction: Importance (Marketing, Sales, Strategy), Focus/Visibility, Call-to-Action. Strategic UI/UX begins with assembling wireframes that, with our experience and consistent client input, help shape the workflow of the application. Throughout the process, we continually ask questions to ensure we remain on-task and adherent to the client’s vision for the application: How do we lead the user through the application? What happens when an error occurs? How do we ensure an intuitive process flow? How do we govern brand cohesion? How do we keep a focused vision to avoid dilution of the call-to-action? Upon completion of Strategic UI/UX, the client is presented with a complete set of wireframes for sign-off.
Creative UI/UX: Working with approved wireframes (either provided by ERA404 in the strategic phase of our process or provided by our clients in internal or third party development), ERA404’s creative team then begins to overlay the grid, typefaces, colors and imagery to produce a focus-based, intuitive design strategy. This incorporates the strategic understanding from the previous round while enhancing the workflow to be more elegant and logical. Designers work with the client through all screens of the application, including user-activated rollovers, lightboxes and modal windows to ensure a consistent feel. Upon completion of the visual screens of the application, the client signs-off on the creative.
Encode: Unlike most development studios, our designers are responsible for encoding the static screens into a fully-functional application prototype. This ensures the level of quality and consistency is maintained through the application’s interfaces. Encode is performed using the newest technologies (AJAX, JQuery, CSS3, HTML5) while ensuring the maximum penetration of client technologies (Operating Systems, Browsers, Plug-ins/Add-Ons/Extensions). Upon completion of the encode, the client signs-off on the prototype.
Development: Functionality is only as good as its dependability. It can give life to a website, inviting visitors with interactive and socially engaging power features. Highly specialized businesses can win over traffic from competing web sites by offering highly specialized functionality. But designing and developing these features requires more than just a knowledge of solutions – it requires foresight, creativity and thorough planning.
The ERA404 network believes in a healthy exchange of ideas, constantly refining processes and adapting new/solid technologies, to give your development not only results, but longevity. Some of these are:
- LAMP Model: Open-source programming language (requires no licensing), stability, broad-spectrum adoption
- ADOdb: Database Abstraction for portability without redundant labor
- Smarty: Templating to separate application code from design, for fast-access edits without compromise
Content Integration: Populating a fresh website with rich content can be an overwhelming task. Trust your information with ERA404 to be integrated thoroughly and correctly, before and after the launch. ERA404 offers extensive training and support for an intuitive organization of the information you wish to share with your target market.
Testing & Support: Staging is the process of concurrent development on a safe/protected server that will simulate a real world, production environment. Sites are tested heavily before launch to ensure optimal compatibility, performance and error-free roll-out. Your website is scrutinized by project designers and developers, tests are further reinforced by the ERA404 Creative Network, as well as the most important critic, you.
Launch: With your sign-off begins a new life, when your web site emerges into the world, ready for immersion, penetration, and retention. Your site will be submitted to directory listings, search engines and immediately begin gaining traction among its peers. ERA404 will work with you to exact meta-data to predict prospective search terms (or meta-tags). Meta-data, page content and images will be designed and developed to ensure maximum impact from search engine spidering.
Maintenance: The security of having your own team accessible is a big comfort to our clients. ERA404 offers scalable maintenance contracts (also called retainers), either ongoing or short-term, depending on seasonal needs or other specific requirements of your site. Contact us today to learn more about solutions for site maintenance, even if your site was built elsewhere, ERA404 is happy to come aboard to be your full-service resource.
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If you’re tired of using archaic technologies or patchwork retrofits of existing applications to accomplish your needs, it might be time to contact ERA404 to request an estimate for a custom solution. Begin saving time, money and labor today.