Five Pro Tips For Better Web Development Outcomes

Whether it’s a basic redesign or an overall rebuild, website projects are challenging to navigate and grow with complexity the larger the site. Couple that with the importance that websites play in branding and company growth and it is critical that web efforts run efficiently and effectively. It may be easier than ever to put up a website given the tools available today but creating a web experience that helps define your company and gives your customers the best possible experience is another level of commitment.

Regardless of the size of the effort, here are five keys to making your next website project the best it can be.

Be clear about scope – scope creep is one of the most dangerous things for a web project. If your project starts out as a redesign and ends up with a bunch of backend functional requirements it can delay your effort or even worse make good work bad because it was done without all the variables in consideration. A clear consensus about the size of the effort and sticking to that scope will help things run on time.

Leverage data in creating UX – when marketers build a user experience without data, they are relying on their own instincts and only a perception of how users engage with your site. For UX to truly be effective, it needs grounding in real data. Use Google Analytics and heat maps at the design stage to create conversations that are tied to real-world experiences can make decisions easier.

Have development approve design – if website design is coming from the creative team, it is important to have the development team affirm that the design can be built on the current (or planned) infrastructure and systems. Good design only works when it can be implemented effectively, plus it will make sure what people see at the design stage is what actually shows up at launch.

QA early and often – most people think of the quality assurance (QA) process as something that happens at the very end of a website build. However, if you wait until the very end for QA to start you can create a cascade of changes that could go all the way to code. A more iterative process of validating all the elements in the dev phase will fix things when they are small and help the overall process be more efficient.

Set a firm launch date – sometimes people think that when there is no hard deadline for a site launch you can work on it as long as you want. Sites that languish in the development phase will get dated before a site goes live, wasting time and causing rework. Have everyone on the team commit to a launch date and stick to it. Remember that a site is never done but it can certainly be done enough to have it go live.

At the end of the day website builds are no different than other projects but all the factors must line up for it to work. Following these principles along with effective project management protocols will make your next web project run smoother and lead to the creation of something great.