Information Gathering (Graphical)
The first phase of the Ecommerce application project is the information gathering step for designing the E commerce application. The design of a Ecommerce is extremely important because if it is not appealing to the customer/end users and easy to navigate, then they will be less likely to return and purchase the products or use the services offered. The analyst from Vestrics will gather information that will assist the graphic designers in creating an effective layout for the Ecommerce application and determine the various pages will be included. How information is to be arranged and the navigation through this information should also be discussed in this page.
The next step involves analysing the information acquired and documenting the needs of the Ecommerce application design. This documentation includes the colour schemes to be used along with logos and other graphics that will be incorporated on the Ecommerce application. This is also important for scalability because it will allow the programmers to create templates and implement cascading style sheets (CSS) into the site allowing for easy maintenance and updates in the future The graphic designers from Vestrics use the acquired information to create an image of what the ecommerce application should look like for the developers to use. This will be a graphical representation, or prototype, of the application that the programmers will use to develop the template.The graphic designers typically work closely with users (marketing, merchandising, etc.) in charge of leading the efforts for development of the Ecommerce application. Images of the Ecommerce application pages will also be included in the documentation.
The graphical design phase is where the our developers use the documentation provided by the analysts and graphic designers and create a prototype of the Ecommerce application. The only functionality available at this phase is the ability to navigate through the application. This is where the programmers create the templates and navigation for the application. Once the prototype has been finished and tested, the working model will then be used as the actual system.
Information Gathering (development)
This phase involves the functional development of the Ecommerce application. During the information gathering phase for the functionality development, the systems analyst from Vestrics meets with the users to gathering requirements for the functionality of the application. They identify the what functionality is required, and the different components for each section of the Ecommerce application.
In this phase Vestrics team creates Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERD) and Data Flow Diagrams (DFD) needed for the functionality of the Ecommerce application. They will then break down the different components of the application into smaller fragments. For example, the developer might create different components such as a shopping cart, products page, contact page, information page, and a frequently asked questions page. Then each one of these components will be designed and developed as if they were individual programs. Once the application functionality has been designed and the different components have been developed, the developer will start creating the physical prototype
This phase is similar to normal implementation in the SDLC. The prototype is typically developed on a test server or development server. This allows the users to work with the developers until the prototype is complete. Once the component being developed is completed, the database and application files will be moved to the production server for implementation.
Maintenance is an on going step and that never ends. Maintenance may include modifications to existing programs, updating the style sheet to give the application a different look, or anything that might need to be done to the application once it has been implemented.This is an iterative process, particularly during functional phases of development. Once the application has been designed there is little need to perform the graphical phases until a re-design of the website is needed. For each new application or component added to the website after it has been designed, the systems analyst can start on with the development. For a application redesign, only graphical phase will need to be completed because a redesign will change the layout and look of a application but not the functionality.