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- The website is text-oriented, and there's not much that really grabs the user to pull them into the website. There's no definition of a hierarchy to pull the user in, such as headings. Most visitors will skim over material, but if the website is visually engaging and the content is presented with visual cues (defined headings and a hierarchy), then visitors will take a little time to skim and read content more thoroughly.
- A phone number or contact information is not displayed prominently. There is a phone number in the footer, but it's not noticeable. A smaller, local business should include more prominent contact information so a prospective client can easily get in touch and not have to search the website for this information.
- The navigation could be broken down into sub-navigation as one mentions information about the company and the other mentions specific information about training and behaviour. The navigation menu itself also feels a bit 'lost'.
- I felt that the services offered was slightly vague on the home page, and this could be improved with headings and graphical elements breaking up the flow of the page.
- I didn't like the slideshow photographs blended together, and I felt the photographs were stronger on their own.
- The company has a Facebook page and a Twitter page, and I felt that this could be advertised more prominently to keep regular clients collaborating and up-to-date as the owner of the business keeps the social media websites up-to-date.
- I felt that testimonials on the home page is absolutely necessary for this type of business and it could get clients to use the service. The company has many testimonials from previous clients, and I felt that it was a shame for these to be hidden under a sub-menu.
- I felt that it was important to mention the owner and her qualifications on the website more prominently than in the footer, where it gets 'lost'.
Last Friday, I left IG Group to continue my career at a new company based near Reading. I received the fantastic opportunity at the end of February. I had planned to make my career at IG Group; however, I could not pass up the new opportunity, where I will be using more of my skills and influences in the company's products.
- The redevelopment of this website had to be achieved by 1 February. This meant that we only had approximately two months to spend for development tasks.
- To meet the tight mid-week deadline, we had to break from some internal processes. Typically, releases are completed at weekends, and code was being redeveloped until two weeks before the go-live date, and bugs were being fixed up until the go-live date.
- Many environment and infrastructure issues needed to be addressed, and new environments needed to be built. This was the first time that the new CMS was used for a public-facing website.
- Other web-based applications use files that exist under the domain, and it was not always clear where the files were being used. These files, HTML pages, and links needed to be migrated and approprite RewriteRules needed to be written so that the changes would not affect these other web-based systems.
- A new brand and designs for the website were being created at the same time, and the branding was received half-way through the design process. (Due to the tight deadline, designs had to be started before a new brand was created.) Additionally, the development process started at the same time as the designs were being created during the first two sprints. This, of course, meant that we needed to constantly make small changes to the CSS and HTML for design changes.
- The development for the project was achieved in approximately two months, including bug-fixing during the final two weeks, and some earlier development work needed to be tweaked as unfinished designs were evolved. (We certainly did work Agile.)
Despite the mentioned challenges, everyone did a fantastic effort, and I largely enjoyed it. Many disciplines (such as development, design, QA, content writers, system developers, etc) worked well together to ensure the success of the project.