Planning. It’s that essential thing that can make or break a project before it even begins.
But why is planning so critical when it comes to your web project? Even more importantly, we’ll review and discuss why the planning phase of your web project is just as mission-critical as the development phase.
Planning for your web project will save money
It’s true. Mistakes are costly. Especially when they occur between the design and development phase. Here’s an example. Let’s say you approved design concepts, and the project is greenlit for development. The dev teams start coding.
And then you realize that you never planned for payment processing functionality within the scope of your design. This was never never brought up and the design didn’t account for it. While in development, questions on how to implement; and your project is kicked back to the design team. This causes time and effort overruns.
Some blips can be minor, such as not realizing you needed your website to have video player capability, or you want to change your logo at the last minute.
But some can be major, such as not understanding the full scope of a search feature for your vast collection of online products, resulting in your customers not seeing half of your inventory. Certainly this scenario is catastrophic for businesses who rely on revenue from online sales. While we’ve never allowed our clients to experience a mistake like this, we’ve heard horror stories from clients who’ve worked with other agencies.
Even If it’s caught early, the team has to go back to the drawing board to design and refactor or recode, you’ve lost money as well as time. And we all know that time to market has value.
And speaking of time…
Planning for your web project will save you time. Maybe even buckets of time.
Things in our industry take time, with some tasks taking longer than others. This is especially true when clients get involved. Feedback is a precious, critical thing when it comes to a website design and development project. It can also be costly in terms of time.
For example, we can’t tell you how many times we’ve experienced this scenario:
A client is on the fence about what they want to see in design, so instead of asking critical-thinking questions, such as ‘tell me what I’m looking at,’ or perhaps ‘how can we convey a bolder and bigger feel?’ they will sometimes opt to involve their other team members, or even their family members.
So now, the project is waiting on the client, the client’s feedback, the client’s team member, and the client’s team member’s feedback, and maybe even the client’s wife and the client’s wife’s feedback. We’ve seen this take days, to weeks, to actual, verifiable, months – all of it causing critical delays and time lapses in a project’s estimated launch date.
All of this could have been better solved if the project’s true goals were identified at the very beginning. When the goals are identified, the client can better understand what they are looking at and how it helps.
Planning helps to identify your goals
We understand. We’ve been at it since 1997, and we’ve truly seen just about everything. We’ve built a seamless process that allows our clients to maximize ROI and achieve success with launch. We understand and we do not expect clients to be eloquent communicators, or even to know exactly what it is that they want to see.
That’s part of the reason why we’re the experts. Our team is the cavalry that gets called in when our clients need a win. So we’ve built our onboarding process with specific measures in mind. This is a framework which allows our clients to uncover the goals that they might not even know they were looking to see. Sometimes, goalposts can be broad-brush-stroke, such as wanting to sell more products, or perhaps have a modern, more updated look or feel.
There’s no problem with broad brush strokes at a high level. But when we get into the granular, nitty-gritty work of developing code and crafting a user experience – we’ll need particular goals. Such as ‘we want the customer to click on this button and schedule an appointment,’ or ‘we need to engage our users in a way that prompts a phone call and a conversation with our sales team.’
Our planning phase allows our team to work with you to understand, investigate and uncover specific goals, allowing for your project to be flawless and on the mark, each and every time.
We’ve even written a whole additional article on the importance of that UX process, if you’d like to learn more about how we continually invest in our client’s ultimate user experience.