by: Christine Swartzendruber, Chief Technology Officer
Making a project inclusive development means involving the client every step of the way in the design process and making sure the entire development team is involved in decision making. It’s important to ensure that everyone in the process is on the same page and moving toward a common goal.
Here are some tips for running inclusive processes that can make your project more successful.
Clients Should See Design Ideas Early
The client often has a general idea of what they would like their site to look like, what they want to offer their audience, and what some of the core functionality should be. Getting them involved early on will prevent a lot of unnecessary changes later on.
Brainstorm With The Client
Share with them, in non-technical terms, ideas that could drive traffic to their site, and features that could drive sales or improve customer communication. Give them a list of complimentary things that could help, such as an email newsletter, a social media presence, or a blog for their company. Let them tell you some of the things they’ve found that they would like to pursue as well. Work together to put your ideas into practice.
Include The Developer In The Design Process
You probably wont ask the developer his opinion on which blue to use in the site banner, but giving the developer an overview of your design ideas will ensure that what your planning is cohesive with the back-end functionality the client will need.
Set Deadlines And Enforce Them
Everyone needs deadlines to keep on task and your client is no exception. You will need to receive things from them such as, image files, photos, content and specifications. If your client doesn’t get these things to you in a timely manner it will slow the entire development process. If the client does not meet their deadlines, they will be less likely to complain when the project is not done on time.
Communicate Effectively And Often
Clients need to feel like you are thinking of their project frequently. They like to know that they are a priority to you and that you care about their deadlines. There is no better way to keep a client at ease then to drop them a quick email about the progress you’re making, or send them a question about what they would like to see happen with something you’re currently working on. It doesn’t take very much time, but it can make a world of difference.
Another reason for communication is to ensure that you and the client remain on the same page all throughout the development process. You don’t want to get to deployment day only to find out that they had something completely different in mind for an entire section. Keep in contact!
Follow these steps and you’re well on your way to avoiding major conflicts and keeping your project on track.