The other day Rob, our resident web consultant, sent around an office email to help us all receive clearer feedback from clients so we, the web company and you, the client are clearer about any changes being made or suggested.
For many clients undertaking a web project with us, it can be their first experience of a website for business use so naturally you’re not always going to know what sort of feedback to provide, unless you’ve been given some type of instruction. Without any instruction, you may feel obliged to list a couple of potential amends, leading to feedback that could have been avoided or comments that maybe aren’t relevant.
Consider the work at hand, for example, our first port of call is creating the Information Architecture stage (I.A.), where we wireframe the pages and content that makes up your site. At this stage you will want tailor your feedback around the features that were specified in the scope, checking to make sure content such as image sliders, news feeds, contact forms etc are included if they were originally specified in your project scope. Feedback we wouldn’t ask for at this stage are any design points, we are focusing on the content and layout side and not worrying about aesthetics. Its the same as a blueprint for a house, you wouldn’t be suggesting soft furnishing styles at this stage.
The I.A stage is the best time to suggest any functional changes as it is always easier to identify additions earlier on, if we get halfway through the design or build of your website only to have a late addition mentioned, it is always going to be harder and more expensive to include a new feature that hasn’t been considered from the start.
Again using house building as an example, if you were to tell the builder you wanted an open plan kitchen/living room after the build had started, they may question whether its possible or that the wall between the living room and kitchen is load bearing.
It’s the same with web design, trying to suddenly include an e-commerce store at late notice is going to throw up a lot of questions and issues. But as professionals these are the things we will be challenging you on. When you suggest changes, we will work with you to let you know when certain additions aren’t feasible in your budget or the time available.
But the main reason we will question additional features is to see if they are actually relevant or needed. We don’t want to find it’s just because your competitor is doing it, or that you like a particular shade of red as your main reason as it comes across as an idea that hasn’t been thought through. So do consider the value it offers your business and more importantly the users of your website as a simple, well designed site that is up and running is going provide much greater ROI (return on investment) for your business than one that is waiting in the wings, with additions that have slowed the launch.
Also bear in mind your site is something that grows with your business. That idea you had can always be implemented as a phase 2 after your site has launched, which will be developed whilst your new site is live and developing enquiries.