This post is the result of many experiences I’ve had as a programmer of corporate websites, web applications or e-commerce’s.
I’ve met all kinds of customers and I can say problems come up when clients or developers broke some basic rules. And, of course, they reduce the quality or increase the time of the final product. The rules are about common sense, but in most of the cases they aren’t respected.
Let’s list them:
1. DEFINING THE OBJECTIVES / PRODUCT FEATURES
To avoid delays and budget deviations all must have been defined before you start programming / design . Have in mind design the wireframes, specifications and objectives of each section.
Can you even imagine the next situation? You have your car in the garage for a tire change and you tell to the mechanic that you want he paints the car also but you’re gonna pay only the tire change. Surreal uh?
The solution is to write each product specification. It is Necessary. As a customer you will save on surprises and as developers in control of the budget.
2. TRUST PROFESSIONALS
Clients are always asking for each decision the designers and programmers do. Keep in mind that usually a professional usually knows better than a client the communication or the design process of the product.
As a customer it’s okay to specify ideas and concepts, but it’s counterproductive rectify the design and programming of your hired professionals.
Furthermore, this can poison the relationship between the developer and the client. And it is completely unnecessary because things goes better when there are mutual agreement and not an obligation. So a little confidence does not hurt anyone. Nobody wants to destroy your idea, developers want the best for everyone. Why some clients are obsessed correcting the professionals? Developers only aim to improve the product as much as possible. Motivation, reputation …
There are two ways to create a website. First way is desig and program a custom design from 0 or on the other hand choose a platform or CMS.
The first option has a high development time and therefore costs more. But as a pro, does not have the limitations of the second one. And that’s the point.
A CMS it’s a good choice when the budget or timing are limited, but be sure that there are limitactions with certain features that can not be made with a CMS. Programming these features will rise the cost even high that having done exactly the same with the first option. In order to program or design these features it’s necessary to modify the core of the CMS or the plugins installed which implies a specialized knowledge that, of course, you have to pay.
In short, if you choose a CMS you have to know what can be done and what not. Do you remember point 1? Leave everything well defined before starting!
Some people think that just making a website magically it appears in the top results of Google. Imagine the following situation: a grid of more than 500 million boxes and one box is your site. How can you expect or pretend that a normal person will find the box without your having said before where is it?
The natural positioning of the sites it’s done by robots (). Based on the content of your site they classify it for certain searches. If the content is wrong or poor, appearing on top will be more difficult.
The code can make the content best interpreted by the crawlers, but it’s not enough. The content must be suitable and comprehensive. At this point it is important that the customer provides all the information contrasted with a communication team or a SEO expert in order to allow to write the content optimally.
It is important to seek a balance between SEO and design. Many times I have submitted a website visually flawless and has subsequently been destroyed by changes in the headlines, redundant text, etc.. Do not forget that a good image is everything once you’ve attracted a potential customer to your website.
5. PRICE / BUDGET
It is extremely offensive when asking a budget and try to haggle or belittle the work to be performed. For example, as a programmer I have never questioned and asked explanations to a client about what it takes to do their job, however I’ve had cases where I had to explain, technically, how I was going to do my job and the cost estimation.
It is absurd. Most times they do not understand the explanation (which is normal) and I have the feeling that client don’t trust me. So the advice is that you should just trust the professionals you are hiring, have a little respect for their work.
Go step by step when developing. As a customer try to get the essence of the idea and look for developers for materialize it. Do not add more than the essentials, do not dirty the product. Simpler applications will be more comfortable for users. Users do not like complications.
As a programmer or designer, stick to what the customer wants. Check before taking initiatives. We are not mercenaries, neither are artists.
I think these would be the most critical points to enhance the client-developer relationship.