A successful project requires knowledge and preparation not only the part of the professionals, but also on the part of the client. After countless projects, we’ve identified some of the common struggles that new clients face when working through the website design process. Read on to learn more about the obstacles you might encounter along the way and how to overcome them.
Lack of directionThere are a lot of pieces to a website project, which can be overwhelming in the beginning. As the professionals, our job is to educate you on how the process works and create a clear roadmap to launch. However, you should come into the project with a clear understanding of the needs and goals of your business. When the client has a consolidated vision for the project, it helps to ensure we’re all working towards the same end goal, resulting in greater success.
This can be accomplished by starting the project with internal discussions to make sure everyone on your team is on the same page. Focus on developing a general understanding of what you hope to accomplish with the project. Once you have a solid basis defined, the details can more easily be worked out through the planning phase.
You should come into the project with a clear understanding of the needs and goals of your business.
Too many decision makersIt’s exciting to get a new website. This unfortunately can lead to a large number of people wanting to be involved in the process. While it’s important to acknowledge a variety of opinions when creating your website, too many people involved in making the final decisions can lead to confusion and slow down progress. Furthermore, conflicting opinions can result in a product that isn’t cohesive.
Avoid this issue by creating a core team of people that will be working on the project. Set expectations for who has the final say in the approval process and clearly define roles. This will help to cut down on internal hold-ups and keep the project moving.
Poor organizationWebsites require any number of assets, whether it’s copy, images, or other types of files. While some of these will be new items created by your web professionals, there are typically existing assets that you’ll be expected to pull together.
In order to prepare for this, gather all assets as soon as possible at the start of the project. A lack of organization can slow down progress and negatively impact the timeline. During the planning stages, start collecting content, purchasing photos, and anything else that will make assets readily available when needed. Consider using a cloud-based tool like Google Drive or Dropbox to store all of your files and easily collaborate and share with others on the team.
A lack of organization on a project can slow down progress and negatively impact the timeline.
Straying from the processEach website project should have clearly defined phases and a well-developed timeline. This plan should be closely followed by all of those working on the project in order for it to be successful. If someone strays from the plan, a project can quickly become delayed. When one phase of the process is delayed, each phase that comes after becomes affected, pushing out the launch of a website.
To avoid these types of delays, start by reviewing the phases and timeline for the project and ask questions if any responsibilities are unclear. Hold each team member to their deadlines for any deliverables and make sure everyone understands the impact on the project if things get behind schedule.
Changing requirementsThis one can be challenging due to the nature of a website project. Once you get into the details and start figuring out what will best serve your business and its customers, there will likely be new ideas and requests that crop up. This is great during the planning phase, which is the time for brainstorming and coming up with the must-haves for your website. When planning is completed, all requirements must be clearly defined and agreed upon before moving onto the next phase.
What this means for the client is that new requirements or features shouldn’t be added on during the design or development phase. Changing scope in later stages of a project will most likely affect both the budget and the timeline. To minimize this potential issue, make sure all needs have been addressed during planning and that all decision makers are ready to proceed to the next step. Keep in mind that your website is a dynamic marketing tool; it can grow and change over time, and new features can be added after launch as well.
Keep in mind that your website is a dynamic marketing tool; it can grow and change over time.
Learn moreIf you keep these common problems in mind when starting a website project, you’ll be ahead of the curve on keeping things on track. To be even more prepared, check out the following helpful articles:
- How to upgrade your web design planning process
- Four skills to look for when hiring an inbound marketing agency
- 5 tips to a successful website kick-off meeting
Ready to get started on a project? Contact us