Having worked in web application development for over 10 years each, some since the dawn of the web, Zoo Zoo Web developers have seen many design methodologies come and go and we have developed our own flavor using the best of several approaches.
The core approach that Zoo Zoo uses is Iterative Development, also
known as a Spiral Development approach. This development approach
evolved first into Extreme Programming and later informed the Agile Movement
This philosophy focuses on putting pages and
functionality in front of users as frequently as possible. Very often people have difficulty
designing in a vacuum, so in everything we do from wire-frames and information architecture
to prototyping and integration code, Zoo Zoo iterates, putting working product in
front of customers as often as we can.
What the hell does this mean to you? It means as a client of Zoo Zoo Web, you will see work in progress. This means, like the captain of a ship, you can course correct frequently and stay right on top of your project.
Taken from Iterative Development as well as Extreme Programming, and also now an important tenant of Agile, user-centric means that software is about the users and must be focused on their needs. The way Zoo Zoo achieves this is by putting documents, schematics, wireframes, site-maps, mockups, prototypes, pages and working code in front the users as often as practicable. In this manner, the direction can be constantly adjusted based on user feedback. An added benefit is that code must be constantly ready for release, which shortens test cycles later in the process and tends to bring chaos under more and more control instead of less and less.
Another philosophy that Zoo Zoo focuses on is rigorous testing. Agile advocates creating test cases before creating code. By creating robust unit testing via automated testing suites through the course of a project, a more robust product is created. Additionally, the testing suite created along the way forms the backbone of regression testing that can be utilized as features are added. Coupling this with an iterative, user-centric approach has proven to be a very successful way to create complex web sites that perform reliably and are easier to enhance and modify. Web sites are living, breathing animals in constant change and constant motion and the speed with which they change must be supported by the development process.