dotLaunch specializes in the design and development of websites, from initial briefing & concept development to site launch. We design and build sites that range from small 5-page commercial and charity websites to large multi-page government websites.

Design Methodology

Concept Design
Our goal is to design websites that are pleasing to the eye, have energy and freshness which excite and engage both client and audience, using the latest technologies & tools.

Audience Targeting
We design our sites with the target audience in mind. Our first question to clients is always 'Who is the target audience, and what do you want them to get from your site'?  

The three-second rule...
The default nature of the web-surfing world is that of  "immediate results" and "short attention spans".  We want to make sure we elicit the desired emotional response from your existing and potential clients within the first three seconds.  That is exactly what marketing is: eliciting the desired emotional results through media.  We base our design on what we want your targeted audience to feel, whether is is high-tech, new technologies to low-tech, corporate comfort.

Ease of use
Our sites are always easy to use and navigate.  We make sure that the lowest common denominator can always access your site.  What this means is, we do cross-browser compatibility, we use standardized applications & plugins and we provide a clear, concise navigation method on each page, so your customer is always sure where they are at, and where they are going.

Working with the client
We involve our clients in every step of the design process. We present each stage online for the client to inspect and provide feedback on. We encourage clients to show our mock-ups to colleagues and a small selection of target audience users. This allows the client to do informal user-testing throughout the process.

We are also happy to work with Web Usability experts. On larger sites, we actively encourage usability testing at set stages throughout the process if time and budget are available. We can provide contact details for Web Usability experts if needed, but do not include this as part of our service.

Code Methodology

We follow W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Our sites:

  • Use correct DOCTYPE.
  • Use CSS-driven relative font size for general content - which allows users to control the size of the page content.
  • Have alternative text for all images and decorative/positioning graphics include null "ALT" attributes - which is important for text-based or screen-reading browsers.
  • Provide additional navigation aids.
  • Have meaningful page titles.
  • Identify the content language.
  • Have detailed and descriptive metadata.
  • Provide hidden links in the top of each page to allow users with text-based or screen-reading browser to jump to the preferred content on the page.
  • Where possible, present main content first within the source (regardless of how the page is displayed) - again for text-based and screen-reading browsers.

We generally run our sites across a number of web-based accessibility checkers during the development phase. However, we discourage clients from focusing on a particular checking system (such as Bobby) at the expense of other checkers or good coding practices.

As user devices change, so must the readability of the content. Our sites are designed with all sizes of devices in mind, assuring your website can be viewed and used from anywhere. This includes responsive pages, collapsing menus, animation and flash considerations as well as specific pages just for specific devices.

We do extensive testing when building sites, to make sure all pages maintain consistent layout and style across a wide range of browsers and platforms, including text-based, hand-held and Web-TV browsers. Whenever possible, our sites are designed to be completely accessible for older browsers such as Internet Explorer 4+ and Netscape 4+.

Validity and Compliance
Our sites currently use valid HTML or XHTML and the most recent CSS standards. All pages and CSS files within our sites are checked and validated using W3C's online HTML and CSS Validators.

Coding for the future
The future of web development is based on W3C standards, which are moving towards CSS and XHTML. The aim is to separate style (look, appearance, colors, fonts, layout) from content. With this in mind, we are able to code for our clients, depending on their target audience, whether it is backwards compatible coding or current & forward compatible.

Government ADA Compliance

The World Wide Web has dramatically changed the way that federal agencies disseminate and collect information. Computer users from all around the world have instant access to federal agencies any time of day. Not only do agencies save countless dollars in printing and mailing costs, they also receive and process accurate information much more quickly and efficiently.

Under the authority of section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Access Board (or 'Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board') has enacted regulations setting forth accessibility standards for federal agencies' electronic and information technology, including web pages. (1) 36 C.F.R. pt. 1194.

This document is designed to help agencies evaluate whether their Internet pages are accessible to people with disabilities. The Access Board's web accessibility standards appear at the beginning of each of the substantive sections, below, and form the basis for most of the questions. A few of the questions are designed to suggest ways that agencies should make their programs accessible, even where there are barriers on existing agency web pages.

View our ADA Website Compliance Checklist.

For more detailed information, you may go over the ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments.

You may also read the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

In addition, you may visit any of the following sites to check your newly developed or 'in development' government site for ADA Compliance:

  • WAVE web accessibility evaluation tool
  • Lynx Viewer (Use this simulation of the Lynx Viewer, a text-based browser)