Web design is the Netscape of the digital world.
The process is typically messy, slow and extremely unfulfilling. But while Netscape went the way of the dinosaurs, web-design bottlenecks have hung around like an annoying cousin during Thanksgiving. Nearly all companies struggle with keeping web development on pace with business demands.
But there’s always room for improvement.
Part 1 of this series covers why web design and IT are major development bottlenecks – and what you can do about it.
Good Luck. We’re All Counting On You.
If you’ve seen the movie Airplane!, you’ll recall the scene when Dr. Rumack keeps barging into the cockpit while Elaine and Ted attempt to land the plane, saying, “I just want to tell the both of you, good luck. We’re all counting on you.”
Well, your IT team can relate.
Yes, they are a key part of designing and implementing new products and services, but they play an even more important role: Keeping your business from crashing.
Your IT department is the heart of your digital service operation. And in a world of technology with more connections than the Atlanta airport, they have plenty on their plate. They’re in charge of maintaining your servers, keeping your websites online, troubleshooting product issues, updating company computers and solving employee email crises.
This is all on top of whatever product design work you give them.
In other words, they’re busy. Like, really busy. And when it comes to choosing between shoring up your business’ binary empire or building that new app ASAP, the good IT specialists will always prioritize keeping you online.
So the next time you wonder why that new web tab you commissioned two weeks ago isn’t done yet, remember: Nobody likes a Dr. Rumack.
Let’s address the elephant in the blog post: The natural speed of IT development is “at a crawl.” No matter your company’s size, your website launch won’t be breaking any sound barriers.
This is due to many factors.
Designing a successful webpage or application isn’t a piece of cake. First you’ve got the nuts and bolts of writing and implementing successful code. Then there’s tweaking everything for functionality and user-friendliness. Finally, you have to test everything. And this is all before launch!
If there’s any problem during this process, the whole project gets delayed.
Projects can spend weeks or even months trapped in a cycle of back and forth. If you’re looking to build a product around a successful internet or mobile campaign, this can drive a project into the ground.
However, there are things you can do to make the process more efficient and much faster.
I’m Givin’ ‘Er All She’s Got, Captain!
One place where IT development gets tied in knots is when you pitch a project idea to your team.
Oftentimes, a project manager or client won’t have the knowledge to fully understand the web development process, and will hand designers a laundry list of things they’d like to see in the finished product.
If you’re just asking them to touch up a few buttons at the check-out page, no problem.
But if you’re demanding an animated logo featuring a fire-breathing dragon with lasers shooting out of its eyes…
This might be an extreme example, but whether it’s a fire-breathing dragon or a plethora of web analytics tools and service plugins, if you ask for the moon, don’t be surprised if it isn’t on your desk by Friday morning – or ever.
The easiest way to solve this issue? Ask for design input from your IT team. They know what’s doable better than anyone else. And, if they really excel at their profession, they’ll suggest something you overlooked.
And no, when your team tells you they can’t do something, they aren’t trying to be like Scotty and impress you when they accomplish “the impossible” later. They mean what they say. Some things are just bad design choices. Trust your web designers to know what works and what doesn’t.
A Failure To Communicate
Sometimes the problem isn’t that you’ve said too much; it’s that you haven’t said enough.
Handing your IT specialist a piece of paper that reads “make it nice” doesn’t help. Your IT department doesn’t have the same sort of contact with your clients and consumers you do. They might not be aware of the needs and objectives of the project.
If you opt for the tried-and-true, “set-it-and-forget-it” approach, don’t be surprised when your team heads in the opposite direction of your expectations. And if you do the same thing when asking them to start over, expect to be spinning in circles faster than your cursor on a broken web page.
Or you could try this marvelous thing called “talking.”
Before you pull the trigger on a project, remember: Your coworkers and employees aren’t mind readers (unfortunately). Cut them a little slack, and explain you’re thinking.
You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat
Of course the biggest obstacle to web development is the cost. Many companies don’t have the time or resources to expand their IT department.
If you really want to escape the jaws of the IT/web-design bottleneck, the best option is to hand the project over to a respectable agency who can devote the time and resources necessary to deliver the quality you expect – in the time you need it.
(That’s where we come in.)
Stealth knows how to make, launch, and maintain digital products and services.
So let us help enhance the excellent services you’re known for, while you focus on being excellent.
Drop us a line today, and stay tuned for Part 2 in our Web Development series, where we’ll discuss how to drive rush-hour amounts of traffic to your website!