Web Development = Building Construction?

Jun 20, 2014
Web Development = Building Construction?

I have a fascination with renovations, I always have. It may just be change itself, as it implies potential, efficiency, design and growth. Things that can be interesting and beautiful.

Web Development = Building Construction?

I've come to understand a number of similarities between virtual building and hands-on construction. Simply put, both have beginning and end points, clients, contractors and the like. But most importantly, in each scenario, whether a log frame community center or a website launch, there is an end goal. There is a concept of success with objectives to walk you there. In the client-centered world, a happy client leaves with a website that designers feel proud of. We all need common ground, congruous objectives, semantics, and expectations. This is the foundation. Right? Well... not so fast!

A linear process is simple. It obviously starts with step A. Only then should you proceed through the steps B, step C... and finish as planned ending with the final step... a successful conclusion. But there are different types of projects. When it comes to building, some projects begin from a blank state like vacant land. Others are tear downs -- old websites that can't be updated, basements with outdated furnaces, etc. A few are simple renovations like adding a few new WordPress plugins, striking a change in social media strategy, or a building a bigger closet.

Sometimes It's "A... B... then C"; Sometimes Not!

Sometimes the approach to a project can be linear with a distinct beginning, middle, and end. But in the more complex circumstances -- the "teardowns" -- one may need to think more cyclically. This is important when feedback is required or where changes are catalytic-like when a mid-spring snow storm unexpectedly freezes the ground. These projects can feel confusing. In this case, progress can be difficult to quantify, and expectations more challenging to set.

The Best Success is Mutual Success

The goal of overcoming the complexity of web development is to dig right down to the center of it. The goal is to understand client needs, listen to objectives, then plan to accomplish them. To be successful it's vital to identify the intricacies of each project and define success in the client's language. Leading by measurable outcomes, successful discovery and planning leads to a methodological process. This can often lead to a cyclical workflow but should always result in meeting the client's targets, be they business, personal, or financial.

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