Let's Try a Lighter Blue. No, Make it Yellow!
Probably the most powerful aspect of the web is its ability to change as your needs change. As your business grows and refines, or even changes focus, your website can easily follow suit. Unfortunately, this adaptability can also be one of the biggest distractions on a new project. It seems so easy to make tweaks to design, content, and functionality as the site is being built that, next thing you know, scope creep has doubled the production cost of the project and launch is weeks or months late. You are inevitably left wondering if your shiny new website was worth it. Here are some tips to keep your website project moving forward and on budget while still being able to stay flexible:
1. Just like the title of the article pokes fun at, keep small tweaks to a minimum. There are endless factors than can change a user's perception of your site and people may never appreciate the time and money you spent on selecting the perfect shade of blue, for example.
2. Filter the input you get from colleagues, friends and family during the prototype phases. You can never please everyone. If you are the decision maker on the site, make the call and stick with it. After the site is live we can collect user data from hundreds or thousands of users to help guide future decisions.
3. Plan ahead. Specifically when it comes to content and photos, the more you have prepared before the project starts, the faster everything comes together. A surefire way to derail a project is to try planning a photo shoot two weeks before the site was supposed to launch.
4. Don't get mesmerized by the bells and whistles. If you have never worked on a web project before or are unfamiliar with the technologies available online, don't be tempted to change your project criteria to incorporate new features you may learn about during the process.
5. Stay focused on the project! Probably the most common cause of scope creep is allowing your attention to the website project slip. When distractions pull you away from the project it is easy to lose sight of your original goals and other ideas start to creep in that inevitably increase time and cost.