If you’re just tuning in to my first postmordem, I’m going back and taking a look at my design company’s first project, Digital Oil.
So far we’ve looked at what the site is and really the one thing that I did right about it.
Today we’re going to check out all the things I have GOT to do better as I continue to go forward with other projects.
Trust me kids:
Learn from my mistakes.
If You Have Tools Use Them
If you don’t recall from yesterday – The one thing that I said I did right was getting someone else to do what I don’t do well. In my case that’s designing. Using a artist to do the design and layout really freed me up to focus on “more important” things like the client and programming and saved me a bunch of time in doing something that I just can’t do fast. Unfortunately because of my lack of forethought, I released my designer before 25% of the graphics were done. How could I do that you ask? Because I simply didn’t think enough in advance to realize I needed little things outside of the basic design of the page. Stuff like rollovers, a GUI for when the users upload their photos, etc. And because I didn’t get my artist to design them, guess who was stuck with the job? That’s right. Soul Brother #1. Time = Wasted.
Clients Gone Wild
Another horrible faux pas on my part was letting the client run amuck. That’s right, similar to the Animaniacs. Trust me, I will not make this mistake again. The biggest problem on this front stemmed from not locking down “on paper” what the clients wanted. So what ended up happening was the client on Day 1 saying, “I want a site about widgets with pages named A, B, and C.” And then a couple days later they came back saying, “Can we add D and E and change A to F?” And then a couple days after that they came back saying, “I know the site is centered around widgets, but lets go ahead and sprockets too. And can you come up with the copy for all the pages?” But you know what?
I can’t blame the client. Because it was my fault for not locking them into concrete details from jump street. I mean look, clients go to businesses wide eyed and bushy tailed wanting it all. It’s the job of the business to somehow convey, “Look – We’re going to make the site spectacular, but we can’t change everything every 5 days.” Well if you don’t have that “everything” on paper before hand, things can get hairy in a jif. Going forward I’m going to get copy, pages, and solid sitemaps SIGNED by the clients before designing the site. Bingo bango.
Details, Details, Details.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the conclusion of this tale is the devil was in the details. In my excitement to get the site rolling and finished quickly, I overlooked a TON of things that caused me a lot of pain when I was in the middle of it. Of course the biggest problem was not having the client locked into particular details about the site before I started. A solid and complete sitemap, treatments for every page, and text all signed off on by the client. That’s what I needed and that’s what I plan to get going forward from now on. Hopefully I’ve learned my lesson on this one, ’cause I can’t afford to make these mistakes again.