The wonderful thing about web design is that web design is a wonderful thing. Technology is always improving. Nowadays it feels as though anything is possible. If you can dream it, we can build it.
Unfortunately, there is a second side to that coin. Just because we can create something, doesn’t mean that we should. Its possibility does not make it feasible or affordable. In fact, when you consider the resources involved, it might not even make a lot of sense. Once we have discussed wish lists and concepts with clients, we want to blend dreams with reality. That’s why we encourage them to start thinking in terms of constraints.
It’s a lot of fun considering the creative choices you can make with your new website. Putting names and numbers next to the things that hold you back? Not as much. But, it’s every bit as important. Let’s look at some common constraints our clients face. They may affect you too, as you plan your next website.
Current and Ongoing Budgets
When we talk about constraints, web design clients usually think in terms of budgets. Obviously, this will be the biggest limitation for most organizations regardless of size or industry. However, when considering your budget, you have to look beyond the initial investment for the project. You should also talk to your creative team about ongoing expenses for maintenance, marketing, content creation, and future website audits. Your website strategy should always be looking ahead.
Deadlines and Schedules
Next to costs, the biggest constraint most web design clients face has to do with time. They may want a website launched by a certain date, or have to work within a time frame that aligns with other marketing or reporting goals. As with budgets, though, schedules shouldn’t only focus on initial commitments. Ongoing hours could be needed for meetings, content marketing, and analytics review. It’s important to identify and express any post-launch constraints you have in these areas.
Scope and Customer or User Targeting
Every web design project has ideas that go unused. Sometimes they are tabled for a future date. There are a few reasons why this happens. Budgets and schedules have to be accommodated (see above), for one. Or certain markets are just too tough to crack into at the moment. Even the biggest organizations can’t be all things to all people. You may have to scale back your vision to stay within the scope of a realistic web design or online marketing effort. Part of a strong website strategy is knowing what to let go of.
Existing Content, Branding, and Platforms
You may be coming into your web development project with constraints related to existing content, identity, and software. For example, you have hundreds of inbound links leading to a certain page that will have to be retained. Or, you might want to keep existing logos and marketing materials that have been successful in the past, to tie together with ongoing campaigns. You could have proprietary software that needs to work with your new website. Each of these presents its own challenges that are best addressed early on.
Regulatory Needs or Legal Requirements
In many fields there are legal or regulatory guidelines that have to be followed. These can apply to the website itself, the storage or transmission of sensitive data, and even the messaging used to attract customers. For instance, the companies we work with in the healthcare and financial fields have to be very careful about the way they disclose information and promote their work. Our government clients must be in compliance with very specific guidelines. Also, website accessibility laws are crucial to pay attention to. Again, these types of constraints don’t have to cause big headaches. However, you will want to get them out in the open when you begin meeting with web design vendors.
Want to Get the Most From Your Web Design Budget?
At Atlantic BT, clients don’t just care about the websites we make for them. They appreciate that we take their needs, budgets, and organizational goals into account before we ever start working on layouts or marketing plans.
If you want a web design and development partner who will put your priorities first, why not contact us today and schedule a free consultation? What could it hurt?