It most cases, the design (or redesign) of a website is an intensive process requiring a tremendous amount of collaboration. The resultant back and forth inevitably includes some trial and error, some guesswork, and lots of corrections and revisions. Why so much work? Well, because a great website, likely a finely tailored suit, needs to be a near perfect fit. Unlike a suit, where a finite amount of key measurements will do the job, we need to measure your business and your brain. This isn't easy to do. Rather, It's probably the hardest and most expensive part of website development. At Clarity Ventures, we can't be just technicians or engineers, we need to be psychologists and sociologists too. We constantly assess your thoughts and opinions and gauge your taste and management style. All this in an effort to know both what sort of website you want, and what your clients need. The bad news is that this process isnt a perfect science. We constantly make adjustments and correct course on every project. The good news is that there are many things that you, as a client, can do to make this process more efficient and get the best possible result.
  • Always take a few minutes to prepare for scheduled meetings - Remember, you're paying for this time! Get the most out of it by doing a bit of homework and being on time.
  • Keep your thoughts, feedback and requirements organized - Sifting through unorganized communications or constantly sending followup requests can be a huge drain. If you familiarize yourself with our project management tools and keep your internal plans and specifications well organized we can best position anyone on the team to quickly act and implement them.
  • Ask Questions - An informed client is a valuable partner. It is our goal to keep you in the know, if you are confused we are probably unaware of it. By letting us know that you are at the loop we can avoid misunderstandings and costly incorrect assumptions.
  • Know your Budget - In a very real sense time is money. We provide a service, and as such, charge an hourly fee for our work. Every project is assigned a given number of hours, and those hours are further sub-divided into tasks. Falling behind on a task is usually the result of miscommunication, and will mean we have less than the desired amount of time to spend on other tasks. We are always happy to let you know exactly how many hours you have in your budget, and how they have been, or will be spent. A perfect website is one that has unlimited hours, where everything can be revised an infinite number of times. Being aware of your realistic limitations means having a better feel for when something is good enough, and for when prioritization dictates a change in procedure or focus.
  • Appoint a Leader - Only one person can speak at a time, and where there are conflicting opinions, only one party can be satisfied. A committee may be a necessary, and even beneficial, way for your organization to develop a website. Communication by committee is not. We need to have single voice who can be decisive, delegate tasks, resolve conflicts, and route communications. If we are put in a position where we have to wrangle multiple conflicting opinions and requests we are not in a position to deliver a timely and affordable website.
  • Be Succinct - A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn't type it in an email, don't say it in a scheduled phone conference. We love getting to know our clients, and are often very friendly and casual in our communications. That said, if it takes 3 hours to discuss something that could have been covered in an hour, it means we have to redirect hours that could otherwise be spent making your project even better. Don't be afraid to speak up if your concerned, but do be aware of your budget, deadlines and expectations.
  • Research - We are very experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to web development, and we will naturally use all our skills to assist and advise you. That said, taking some time to do some field work and research yourself is invaluable and specific examples of key designs or functions can shave hours off a project task.
  • Commit to scheduling time for your project - By setting aside time every week (or day) to review our progress, address our questions or concerns, or develop content you help keep a consistent time focused flow to your project. When you fail to respond in a timely manner we cannot predict how much time any given project we can devote in a day or week. As a result, we will have to set aside revisions until we can schedule time creating large gaps between work. These gaps make it harder to keep everyone focused and aware of comments and concerns voiced earlier in the project.
  • Prioritize - Know your core functions and goals. We can target them as soon as possible, and then use the remaining hours for the small touches and window dressing. If you have a website that works, it should generate revenue allowing you to revisit fine detail in th future. A pretty website that doesn't do what you need it to just costs money.
  • Provide high quality feedback - Good feedback means clear, objective, well thought out messages that anyone can understand. Avoid buzzwords and take a bit of time to use clear examples to illustrate your point. Too much is far superior to too little, but be careful to avoid contradiction and obfuscation.
We don't expect you to be a perfect client, just as we don't expect to be perfect ourselves, but with a little consideration you can avoid some common pratfalls and help us make sure you get the most bang for your buck.

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