Web development projects are complicated. They involve a wide variety of tasks, technical skills, and people, often working to tight budgets and even tighter deadlines.
Effective management of the project is key, through careful planning and project management. Ensure that you’re working with a team who understand your end goals. They should also have the expertise required to help you achieve them.
Start by agreeing on goals. Work out the risks that could stop you from reaching them. Plan strategies to deal with problems as they arise. And monitor the project continuously, making sure that issues are identified and dealt with as you go along. Most importantly, remember to also measure successes.
2. Risk Management
It’s best to realistically anticipate delays, amends, and problems and make sure that your project includes robust systems for risk management. You can try to avoid risk with careful planning, but in software development and design, there will always be unknown variables, so making sure you’re able to deal with as they arise will make for a much less stressful project if things start to deviate from the initial plan.
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3. Planning, Time & Cost Estimation
Before you do anything, work on your plans for your website or app, including user journey, outcomes, targets, and design. These plans can then be refined in conjunction with your development agency. Bring as much as you can to your initial scoping session or product design meeting. Be prepared for lots of questions from them.
At this stage, you might expect an estimate of time and costs. But a good agency will still be busy planning. Good development planning starts from the end of the customer journey – looking at both your business goals and anticipated end-user expectations, then working backward to set processes in place to make these happen. Along the way, they will build in development time and processes or systems for managing change, whether that is software related, a change in business direction or targeting or even something as seemingly simple as a change of graphic design, which might bring greater changes to underlying code than you might imagine.
There will also be planning for common mistakes and errors, systems for spotting them before too much damage is done, and strategies for dealing with crisis and worst-case scenarios.
4. Overcoming Common Pitfalls
Take into account the most common design pitfalls, and make sure have them effectively covered. It might seem obvious to say you want your project to work effectively on mobile, but what exactly do you mean by that? What platforms are your customers using – are you targeting emerging markets where the mobile experience needs to take into account less sophisticated hardware and limited connectivity, or are you providing an e-commerce service where security is critical but the ease of user experience cannot be compromised if you want to achieve a high sales conversion rate.
5. Testing & Troubleshooting
This is the extremely critical part of a project management. Finding out all hidden pitfalls on your project and fixing those are vital to creating a great web app. To improve the user experience, you have to think like an end user. Test every section as an end user and try to find out all the issues you are facing. Troubleshoot those issues to improve the ultimate user experience.
You can also ask your friends and colleagues to do the test for you. They can help you to find out all those pitfalls that you are may be ignoring. The more testing and troubleshooting you will do the more robust web app you will build.
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If the most important person to keep in mind throughout the design process is the end user, don’t forget that Google comes a close second. Make sure that a sensible content plan for ease of user experience and SEO is part of your initial planning and doesn’t have to be shoehorned into your beautifully designed pages at a later stage. And speaking of design, don’t forget the simple things like ensuring images are the right size to load fast and ALT tagged. Everything on your site should work equally hard to achieve your end goals, be that images, words or links.