We've just completed a super fast redesign and build of our new website, and it's been quite a ride.
The initial 'card sort' - the first step towards re-organising our content - was completed less than a week ago! Now I'm looking at an almost complete site. A few tweaks here and there and it will be done, thanks to a team working together extremely well.
We had me working on site structure and then visual design, while Joe was preparing the ground with the CMS. Once the visuals were complete (kinda) Mat came and took over Joe's initial CSS. Meanwhile, several of us were working on content (like writing biogs and such like) and we interviewed a friendly client for some video content...
The site was coming together very quickly after just a couple of days (during which time a zillion other things were going on of course - we do have clients you know!) and yet the end point seemed almost as far away. It's off, at that point in a project lifecycle, when the broad brush strokes have been slapped on and everything moves quickly, things seem to slow down. From there on in it's details, details, and there are a ton of those blighters when compared with the broad brush strokes.
That's why Rembrandt and his ilk had studios of students helping out I suppose. (We're looking for an Intern by the way!)
Along the way we realised there were some things not quite working right, so between Mat, Joe and myself we'd dive into on-the-fly design mode. We all like it? Great, its approved. Joe's come up with this widget? Great, let's rock...
It's an exciting, iterative process, and it can get things done very quickly indeed when the team gels nicely. It does require a certain willingness to embrace the fact that no website is perfect. So now it's 'done' the changes, improvements, developments and reworking can really begin!
Above: Yay, OmniGraffle! From card sort to completion in eight days.