Best Skills to Have for Successful Web Development Project

 22 Apr 2019

The development of a web project successfully is central to every business. The underlying factor which is needed is close collaboration between different teams working in different departments of the organization. Anyone who is associated with web development clearly knows the importance of fine decisions which need to be made at every step. Web Development Projects are usually of many kinds. Every different kind of start-up requires a novel kind of strategic thinking along with unique subject matter. Irrespective of latter there are many project keys which are true to every situation. So, all the decisions which will be made in successive stages will ultimately define the success of the project.

Importance of the Right Team

The team composition usually varies with the kind of project which is undertaken. Broadly speaking, a well-knit team will comprise of the following professionals who will handle their roles effectively to make the whole project a success.

  • Digital Strategist
  • Analytics Specialist
  • UX Planner
  • Content Specialist
  • Designer
  • SEO Specialist
  • Technical Manager
  • Client Partner

Keys to Web Development Project 

1). Kick-off Meeting:

Your web development project may need redesigning of 900 pages or only 9, the whole show will depend on a well-defined goal based on a plan. The success of the same will depend on how well you can satisfy the needs of the customers. Latter will, in turn, be based on to what extent you were able to satisfy your goals in early stages. Thus, the significance of the kick-off meeting is evident as it involves all the people who will be a part of the project to be present at the same. A typical meeting will be held in person and usually lasts an entire day.

The purpose is to tell the team about the project, walk them through the goals and even assign temporary personas. It is also a good idea to decide on information architecture and frame design. You may also work out the technical details. The main theme of the meeting is to come up with typical SMART goals for your website and also establish a sound understanding of the need of the users before you begin the actual designing and planning.

2). Discovery:

After you have formed your core project team and communicated your goas to them, the next most important step is to have detailed knowledge about your client, their businesses, goals and their expectations from the project. It also means collecting relevant information about their current branding and digital presence. This is a point where you need to consider the conversion process, product lifecycle, industry positioning, competitors and also the on-going marketing initiatives. Also, you also need to know the kind of user experiences the brand is giving at every point of customer engagement.

The understanding of the entire client ecosystem will help your development team to recognize the areas of improvement and hence provide apt strategic recommendations which will enhance the buyer journey and lead to a significant business impact.

3). Planning:

Discovery of the basics of the client will lead to effective planning which will, in turn, sow the seeds of efficient project management throughout the process of web development. There are three primary determinants of success which emanate from this initial period; these are:

  • Well-defined work statement which has been communicated to all the main stakeholders.
  • Properly defined responsibilities and deliverables
  • Detailed UX Design and Schedule of Development

These form the foundation of a great project management design although it is also important to maintain flexibility and also be prepared for certain ambiguities. It is possible that many things change and even issues arise. As a team, you should be prepared for it and should be able to come up with different solutions. The latter can be easily handled if one has spent time on the discovery period and has set realistic expectations and also assigned accountability to different people operating at different stages.

4). Strategy:

It is also important to develop a clear strategy after taking into account the learnings from the above stages. Usually, the developers begin by outlining the objectives and also recommendations by using a huge range of powerful, insightful tools. By making use of analytics, audience research, a recent audit of the site, competitor analysis, interviews with primary stakeholders, the strategists can find ways for achieving business objectives of the brand by giving human-centric solutions.

As it is a combined effort, so the strategists have to work closely with other team members of the project which are handling different departments, so their expertise and insightful contributions also find a place in the strategy. Thus, the feedback and recommendation of every team member have to be weighed and considered before giving a concrete shape to the strategy.

5). Client Communication:

An informed client is usually a happy client as he feels involved in the whole development process. A client will want to know about the team, the expertise of each of its members, the formed strategy, performance and finally the state of your goals. Any discovery and design phase will need the involvement and review of the client. The latter becomes even more important when one moves from the planning to development level. A good web development not only involves defining project strategy, its schedules and deliverables but also involves maintaining effective and timely communication with the client.

6). Internal Communication:

Just like communication with the client is important so is the same with your internal team. A good project manager will facilitate effective communication and also maintain the direction of development and cohesiveness of the team. It is advisable to hold short daily briefings as it keeps him posted about the progress and also lets the team members voice their progress on the plan and also state the irritants or technical glitches if any. It is these meetings which allow all team members to remain aware of all the development goals and can gauge their progress towards them.

7). Focus:

It is normal for many web development managers to plan well but adopt a laid-back approach during the development phases. Such projects are bound to fall flat and ultimately fail. Thus, the key to effective project management is a continuous organization, and the latter is usually made easy with various tools of project management. There are many such available in the market and boiling down to the right tool will mean taking care of four aspects of project management:

  • Compilation and giving visibility to the information of the project and vital documents.
  • Tracking software of the project for earmarking the development tasks, establishing the goals and even tracking hours.
  • Establishing effective communication mode both within and across teams, so there are no unnecessary delays.
  • A personal tool for managing daily and weekly tasks.

8). Reviewing:

Quality Analysis is an integral part of a project development process, and it has to be undertaken throughout the process. The formula is to test early and test often. The results of the same are deeply analyzed and further incorporated into the process. A good project manager will also facilitate a review process with many users and across multiple browsers which are operating across multiple devices. The users on mobile devices are very important as they comprise a large chunk of the population. It is a priority for most of the project managers.

Elements of a Good Web Development Project

A). Homepage Architecture:

This phrase usually has different meanings for different projects. The best approach is to include a bulleted list of content which will be ultimately included on a wireframe. The advent of responsive design, when combined with the bulleted list, saves time and energies which would have been used for manipulation of more content than we can readily accept and use. Responsive design also helps to keep everyone on the same platform as the hierarchy of the layout is defined.

B). Statement of Branding:

This is the emotionally communicative element of the design. It does not normally convey detailed information about the business but tells the customers what is represented by it. They can resonate with the underlying vision and objectives of the business. Such brand communication is essential for imparting trust and reliability to the existing and potential customers.

C). Featured Content:

This comprises that part of the site which involves the highlighted items from across the website like events, images, etc. Such content is usually selected by the administrators. 

D). Navigation of the Site:

This helps the users to find the content which they want. This normally follows an anchor-text format if you want to have an infinite scroll type of layout.

E). Services/Value Propositions:

These are split into three sections which tell about the breadth/depth of various service capabilities in an organized manner. The layout of this has to be flexible as one may need to add more services to it. 

F). About Us:

This involves the information about the business and the team. It is generally written to highlight the strengths of both and also foster the importance of relationships and trust.

G). Wireframes:

Wireframes are comprised of a black and white content-free simulation of the layout of the website. They are usually dependent on the complexity of the project. Generally, very basic wireframes are built which do not account for any true scale of hierarchy but reference the elements of the IA outline in a basic fashion. Usually the mobile-first or wireframing of the mobile-version of the site is done first. This is done to be able to negotiate the client strategy for determining if the layout will work for the capabilities of the client and even meet their needs. Various analytics are explored and goals established accordingly.

Wireframing is done on the homepage and some other interior pages which need individual design and styling so that the whole team is on the same page before designing and development are started. It is also helpful in refining the development strategy, research plugins which might be needed for employing or deciding which platform is best suited for the project. Many other steps can also be added to the same depending on the scope of the project, like the SEO analysis, content strategy, research on user experience and even views of the stakeholders.

Conclusion

Thus, effective web development begins with an effective team and a sound plan. Latter is in turn dependent on a detailed discovery and research of your client’s current business, branding, industry positioning, and the competitors. Once done, you need to sit with your team and detail them about the project and its core requirements and assigning them their particular roles. Once done you now need to come up with a clear strategy and plan to implement it. All this loses essence if client inputs are not taken timely. Thus, it is equally important to keep your client posted about every new development. Likewise, internal communication is also important.

Finally, reviewing every stage and step by putting to strict quality testing should not be ignored. It will not rectify any mistakes in time but will also help to improve the development process. There are many elements of a good web development design which also need to be included for better and complete outcomes. These will help satisfy the needs of your clients and also establish you as a good developer who can handle multiple types of projects with ease.

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