Right person. Right solutions.

Planning a Web Projects

Web sites are developed by groups of people to meet the needs of other groups of people. Unfortunately, Web projects are often approached as a "technology problem," and projects are colored from the beginning by enthusiasms for particular Web techniques or browser plug-ins (Flash, digital media, XML, databases, etc.), not by real human or business needs. People are the key to successful Web projects. To create a substantial site you'll need content experts, writers, information architects, graphic designers, technical experts, and a producer or committee chair responsible for seeing the project to completion. If your site is successful it will have to be genuinely useful to your target audience, meeting their needs and expectations without being too hard to use. Although the people who will actually use your site will determine whether the project is a success, ironically, those very users are the people least likely to be present and involved when your site is designed and built. Remember that the site development team should always function as an active, committed advocate for the users and their needs. Experienced committee warriors may be skeptical here: these are fine sentiments, but can you really do this in the face of management pressures, budget limitations, and divergent stakeholder interests? Yes, you can because you have no choice if you really want your Web project to succeed. If you listen only to management directives, keep the process sealed tightly within your development team, and dictate to imagined users what the team imagines is best for them, be prepared for failure. Involve real users, listen and respond to what they say, test your designs with them, and keep the site easy to use, and the project will be a success.