How long will this take?
In over twenty years spent designing websites, there is one question I’m asked on EVERY single project, without exception:
How long before we can launch?
…and the answer is always the same – how much time do you have?
“Not a problem”, I hear. “I’m ready to go right now” – but that’s not always how it ends up happening. You’re part of the creative process and you’re going to have homework to do! We sometimes find ourselves chasing a client for their wording / images / feedback as we build sites with them – and it always seems to be based in resistance. Not reluctance for the site to be finished, but a resistance to the technology involved.
You see, when it comes to my industry, a lot of people are stuck in the belief that they don’t like technology – and they see that as an obstacle to be overcome – when the truth is, you don’t need to like tech, just like what it can do for you. Learn to look past the process and embrace the results you’ll enjoy and your project will flow smoothly.
So how do you do this?
Start by making a list, simple as that. Create a list of what you would like your website to achieve – dream big and be specific here (see my short video on measuring your Return on Investment), it doesn’t have to be a long list, one or two points will do.
Then list a few key points about your ideal client, who you really want to work with – read my article on Designing for Your Ideal Client to help with this. Then the really smart part:
Share this list with your web developer and ask them “What do you need from me?”
I’ll give you an example of this in action; a charity we’ve worked with for several years was started by wonderful lady whose child was clearly suffering from an undiagnosed condition affecting their development. So, this lady has made it her life’s work to raise awareness of the condition and how to spot it, to protect any other parent from going through her experience – with enormous success! She now runs a charity to support this and speaks on a world stage of her experience – and the changes her charity have effected in legislation and medical improvements are staggering and inspiring.
But she loathes technology.
Hates it. Barely uses a mobile phone if she can avoid it – so where to begin when tasked with creating a website to reach the millions of parents across the world who need to hear her message? On top of this, she was concerned about the time involved in the project and feared she “may hold it up” as her time was so limited.
This is where great planning really saves the day. Every project we work on starts with two things:
- A list of what we’ll need from you to get the job done
- A schedule right at the start so you know when we’re going to need it!
Having provided our client with both of these things, and working closely together to coordinate the time she had available, we were able to give a clear schedule for the project from start to finish – including any milestones and key points when we’d require her input so she could plan ahead and didn’t feel overwhelmed by the process. Her website saw an increase in awareness and volunteer signups went from 1 or 2 a month to over 20 per week as a result! (Learn more about this incredible charity here: https://www.childhoodtumourtrust.org.uk/)
Every client (or prospective client) I speak with asks me how long it will take – and tell me they can move as fast as we do. My advice is to be fully aware of what you want to achieve first, then we work with you to reverse engineer this into what you need from us, and when we’ll all see the results.
Because then it comes to your website build, we will always hold your hand, but we can’t do your homework 😉
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