Sunday, 20 March 2011

Once in a blue moon

Our web clients fall into 2 camps; those that commission websites all the time and those that only commission a website once in a blue moon. This blog post rings true for projects for the latter group of clients not the former.

I was having lunch with a business owner client last week and he said to me with reference to a website we built for him 4 years ago,

"You gave me what I asked for, the problem was I didn't know what I wanted."

I am happy to publicly confess this because 4 years is an eternity in the web industry. Our whole web process and skill base has been overhauled and we are a completely different organisation from then. We have new team members, and been through a full professional development programme for the existing team. However the comment made me think, and I realised the universal truth behind it. Clients often do not know what to ask for, and they will even ask for the the wrong thing. It is the job of a good agency to uncover exactly what it is that the client does want, and also to show them the power that the digital world can offer them. It is the job of the agency, not the client, to ensure that their web offering is maximised.

A key way we ensure that we give clients fantastic solutions is to build in enough time into the project to uncover client requirements properly. We can do sites at break neck speeds if needs must, but increasingly we are unashamedly building extra time at the front end of the project specifically to go over and over and over the possibilities of the project. Viewing the project from different angles, understanding exactly what it is that users want from the site, and indeed how they typically might access the information we are offering them. Working with different stakeholders to get the whole picture. For big enough projects include research. The initial phase of a project defines its success. This approach leads for better results, happier clients and a more fulfilled team.

So if you're reading this and it is almost blue moon time again - give us a call, we'd love to help you.