Phenomenon began as a web design shop in 2010. We’ve been in business for nearly 10 years and during that time, I’d say that we’ve seen many different scenarios arise during web design projects.
I find that while each website project is different, I also see a lot of commonalities in the issues that they could face. As an agency, we do our best to be proactive and steer clear of any issues so we can preserve our clients’ time and budgets.
Here, I’ve compiled the top 3 common pitfalls we’ve seen in web design projects over the years and how to avoid those pitfalls. Doing so will help ensure that your website production is smooth and at budget.
Pitfall #1: Putting the Wrong People in Charge
Many clients think that we’re the vendor, they pay us to do the work, so all the responsibility is our own.
However, when you’re beginning a web design project, it’s important to know that it is a collaborative effort. We take our knowledge of the web, best practices, and preferences to create a website that will help you achieve your goals. To get to that point, we need to have a point-of-contact that will be engaged, communicative, organized, and understand the broader goals of the project.
We’ve run into a couple of scenarios where this didn’t play out so well. One previous client was running the project without seeking feedback or approvals from anyone else on her team. to us, we received approvals on items and got to the final stage. Once the CEO saw what we created, she hated it and we had to start over.
Putting the wrong person or people in charge can be extremely detrimental to the project’s budget and timeline – and we’ve seen it. The more time we need to use in order to communicate because the person in charge is not doing what they’re supposed to do, the less time we can use to create a beautiful website.
Pitfall #2: Not Paying Attention to the Budget
Budget is always the trickiest subject to deal with when it comes to a project. We structure our projects based on a set number of hours we think it will take. We come up with our estimates based on historical data from previous websites. We estimate we have x hours for design, x for development, etc.
As we move throughout our web design project, we give updates on where we are with the budget. If we find that the design phase is already eating into development time, we’ll voice that concern and try to be mindful of those hours.
Upon knowing this information, some clients have requested that we keep updating the design and hope that we’ll have enough for the rest. Often, it does become an issue and clients end up getting dangerously close to their budget or exceeding it.
I would recommend that if your web designer is bringing up the budget in the design phase of the project, you should hear those concerns and make any necessary adjustments to preserve the budget for the remainder of the project.
Pitfall #3: Taking Too Long to Give Feedback
Many website projects work based on approvals. Once we begin a new project, we typically start with a sitemap/wireframe. Once approved, we move onto design (etc.).
We’re ready to hit the ground running during website builds and it is typically the client that holds up our timeline. I would highly recommend that if you are beginning a website project, you should make sure you’ll have the time necessary to give your web design company feedback on the items they’re producing.
On the flip side, it’s important to really review the drafts you’re given and make sure it’s what you want. If clients are too swift to approve a design, it’s typically a red flag that they didn’t really review and will probably change down the road.
When you’re reviewing any work from your web design company, make sure your review is thoughtful and specific.
Article adapted from Atilus