This winds me up. Seriously.
A story about Mindy
Say you’ve got Mindy. She’s come to you for a website for her new personal training business. She hasn’t got a big budget (who has?), and she would like something live asap.
Traditionally, a web designer would explain that it’s not that simple, that they need to design a bespoke website, craft copy, do a photoshoot, code the website, test the website and then, after all that, launch.
There’s something wrong here. It’s too waterfall. Mindy isn’t going to have a website for several weeks, maybe months. She’s paid 50% upfront, the project runs over because the web designer has gotten themselves busy and Mindy can only meet on selected evenings.
A better way
‘Agile’ isn’t just saved for the world of software and web development. Agile should be a manifesto for life. Make something quickly (a minimum viable product) – something good enough to start with, and then over time iterate.
With an agile web designer, Mindy could have had a website made in that first meeting
Seriously (Check the video below for an explanation). If Mindy is busy, make the most of that first meeting and make the website then. A competent web designer should be able to start with a framework, modify it, work with Mindy to write the correct text, add ‘good-enough’ photos for now and leave the meeting with the barebones, or a MVP ready to put on the web.
Over time, Mindy and the web designer could get better photos done. They could start working on an SEO strategy, start writing a blog etc. Get the website better and better. Iterate
In terms of billing, the web designer would charge lower but over a longer period. The task of maintaining a website is an ongoing process. Direct debit would be better, with services such as Go Cardless.
Mindy would be able to see over time what she’s investing in. She would also be able to get bookings in from Day 1, not Day 60.
Don’t hide behind ‘good design practice’. Web designers should think about customer service and being agile.
If you were a customer – what would you want from a web designer?
Ryan Singer puts this together beautifully in the video below, where he explains how he would go about designing and coding a client website.
Don’t be so complicated
Have you got any tips on providing great customer service and great design? Follow any agile methods – I’d love to hear them!