Friday, 20 April 2012

Clients and commissioning iMedia

Just as we moan about clients, they moan about us too. It's best we listen so that we can address their concerns because satisfied clients mean return business. Also, someone else's dissatisfied clients may mean business for us.

Many problems that are thrown up in iMedia development can be avoided if some steps are followed at the beginning of the project. It goes back to the questions you ask your clients prior to beginning work. Maybe they will be experienced enough to already formulate a good brief for you, but it is just as well to have your sets of questions and mentally tick off the answers from the clients brief. Then you’ll just need to raise the outstanding issues you have left.

Digital Mosaic, What clients need to consider when commissioning a web site, have their own version of a project scoping questionnaire that covers General, Branding, Technical, and Design issues they feel are needed to set a project on track. Does it ring true for you? Have you a similar set of queries? The MRG Blog from 23rd March, How to approach Commissioning a Website or Web project, addresses client's concerns in a broader brush way and rather than questions, they highlight a client's attitude and general approaches to defining what is needed from the web site.

But there is a more common set of problems that arise because of interdependencies between agencies and web developers. The agencies have clients they are already working with for other media requirements and need developers to help out with the iMedia requirements; those that haven't their own in-house teams, that is. It seems that this relationship teases out quite a few gremlins as stated in Caroline's Blog for White Label Development on Outsourcing Web Development. This makes interesting reading and points to the classic tensions of creativity versus technology versus user-friendliness and so on. Usually these are hidden facets in in-house teams where front and back end developers clash. Ah! The pivotal role of the project manager becomes crucial in this set of circumstances.

And let's not forget those building apps. Because they are small and neat, usually tight in functionality by nature of their application, their development can be almost bundled in with other iMedia requirements. But, their development shares a lot with web development issues when you look at the pleas from Rob Borley's 15th March blog for In-traction, The two most common questions asked of apps developers. These are by the way, How much does it cost? and how long does it take? Seems apps developers need their own set of scoping questions before starting any work. What do you do?


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