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October 1, 2018

The Hidden Risk You Need to Avoid in Complex Web Design

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Content Strategy Enterprise Web Design Website Development General Consultation
Looking for the right firm to work with on your new web development project can be its own complex process. In fact, we assume that process might be what led you here, to our blog. You’re evaluating your options. And, like most people doing their research, you’re likely worried about making the wrong decision.
 
That’s only natural. Complex web designs involve a lot of time and money. They can put your reputation and the future of your organization on the line. It’s definitely worth doing your homework and asking lots of questions.
 
Finding the right partner can make or break your project. But responsibility for success is a joint effort. Experience has shown us the areas where a web project can be the most vulnerable. Missed deadlines, depleted budgets, and complete failure often comes from a common source. They usually rise from issues within a client’s own organization. Competing personalities, misaligned goals, or a lack of enthusiasm can cause damage. Combined, they can all be deadly when you’re trying to build a large website. Knowing exactly how another company works is very important. But, it’s also important to pay attention to your own internal processes.
 
Issues between executives and departments can sink your website before it goes live. Here are some ways you can prevent that from happening.

Get Buy-in on Your Priorities

The best way to avoid conflict down the line is to make sure everyone is on the same page to begin with. Stakeholder approval and investment can give your project much needed support. That support turns into momentum, moving the work forward in a positive way. As it is in any relationship, communication is key. As your new project is being planned for, include your stakeholders in that process. This should include anyone who has input on the web development project. From budget approval to department heads, each role matters. Everyone should be a part of the conversation. The entire team can better understand the ultimate goal if they know at the forefront why a new website would be beneficial. They can agree with you about the measurable outcomes you are hoping to achieve. That agreement will help them provide the backing your project needs most. Gathering content, feedback, and approvals all becomes easier. Your team can reach each major milestone with confidence.
 
Imagine if this wasn’t the case. Anyone who can influence your project will still be able to, regardless of how much they know about it. The less information they have, the bigger the hold up they can cause. Confusion leads to disagreements, which in turn leads to stumbling blocks. When the end goal of the website is vague, stakeholders may become distracted by other ideas. They could also become indifferent. When stakeholders are not invested in the work, they lack incentive to help. This, despite the fact that your project will affect them significantly. But if they do not understand this, they have no reason to engage in a positive manner. When the site inadvertently affects them negatively, they will be the first to let you know. Conflict usually ensues. When no one agrees on the need or purpose for web development, it’s difficult to keep moving forward.

Put a Process into Place

A great web design team can do incredible things for your company’s online presence. But despite their outstanding skills, your company still has a pivotal role to play. There are still some pieces of the web puzzle that will need to come from inside your own walls. Your organization will have plenty to contribute during the design and development processes. You will need to provide new content. There are designs and concepts to approve. You’ll also need to test various interfaces. This is only the beginning of an extensive, participatory list.
 
It’s a good idea to establish a process for feedback and approvals early on. Such a plan allows everyone to know what their responsibilities look like ahead of time. Each role is clear and distinct, as well as the leadership hierarchy. This gives your team structure which strengthens communication among its members. You won’t lose important tasks in the shuffle, once expectations are clear to everyone. Should any confusion arise, each team member will know exactly who to go to for clarity, which saves time and keeps the work flowing forward. If no one knows which way is up, your project can come to a grinding halt. The web design team you’ve hired will continue to do the best they can, but if they can’t count on your internal team for consistent and accurate answers, things could get messy. 

Decide Who Calls the Shots

The larger your website is, the more likely it becomes that you’ll experience disagreements over resources and creative direction. A complex and industrious website usually means a larger number of stakeholders, who all have differing ideas on what will make the project successful. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Having more viewpoints and opinions can prevent you from developing tunnel vision and missing the needs of certain users or interested parties. For example, the security of a website is an often overlooked component of a design project. It can easily appear as an afterthought. However, there will be stakeholders involved who see the value in integrating strong security measures into the website during the development process. Listening to their priorities and acting on their guidance will lead to a stronger final product. The insights of others often have an immense, positive impact. 

In the end, though, decisions do have to be made. If members of your team can’t come to a consensus, it’s important for everyone involved to agree before the fact who will be responsible for making the final call. That way, you can get past a stalemate and move your website towards completion.

We Make Large-Scale Web Design Easier

At Atlantic BT, we make it easier to create and redesign large websites by applying decades of experience and technical knowledge to the problem. Contact us today to set up an appointment with our team and get answers to the specific challenges your organization is facing. 

 

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