When entering the R&D stage of a project, whether for print or web, there is always the opportunity for creative differences to arise.This is also the case for the best method to approach the marketing for a company and for consideration of the capabilities of development.
Limitations of Technology
Contrary to the belief of some pure designers and clients, developers and marketers know that there are some ideas that simply cannot be implemented or certain software that do not work well together. This was highlighted for us recently when undertaking a project for a client who had used a web building site to create a basic webpage, purchasing their domain name through the same site. When the client then came to us requesting a more advanced site, there was no opportunity to place our own developed site onto their domain. The client was then left with a decision on whether to remain tied to the use of a basic templates site, with limited editing capabilities, or having us build their site for them under a new domain name. This no doubt would have caused a huge upheaval of their business activities. I discuss the use of web building sites more here. It is always important therefore to ensure that the limitations of a project are discussed with the client before any work commences if there is the possibility that any conflicts in software synergy should arise.
The benefits of Multiple System Knowledge
It is also important that you are clear on the capabilities of different CMS systems as certain actions that can be implemented via one type, cannot always be implemented through another. Although, thanks to advances in technology and newer and more comprehensive coding languages becoming commonplace in the industry; the impossible may not always remain as such. Web developers are given opportunity to enhance their offerings through the ability to work across multiple systems and therefore provide increased interactivity in their sites. However, it is always worth bearing in mind that the needs of a client should always be at the forefront of the designers mind when picking the best system to use, as moving a site between CMS systems is a lengthy process. As this can be quite a costly activity, moving between systems and increasing capabilities may be a consideration during the course of a project rebrand or as a business outgrows the initial CMS system.
Maintaining Control in a Saturated Workplace
It is also important to consider the old adage, too many cooks spoil the broth. This can be the case when too many designers or developers have a major role in preparing and finalising a project. Not every designer has the capability to develop and not every developer has an eye for design. It is becoming increasingly important that each of these are able to communicate well with one another and that they have sufficient knowledge and awareness of one another’s work processes so that disagreements in capabilities or design do not arise. At our agency we are lucky enough to have a team of developers who have spent the best part of their education and careers learning design and development skills simultaneously, cutting out discrepancies in this knowledge. There is still no single proven method that will ensure that every decision maker will be on board with the ideas being implemented, but that is why at TRACE Creative Agency, we always ensure that every project has its own dedicated manager.
Our Promise to You
Whilst different members of the team will have the opportunity to suggest ideas and edits to work on any given project, the design and creation process is always overseen from start to finish by the project manager assigned to it. This is paramount to our activities, for clients and of course for our own in-house work. The project manager dedicated to running our own brand will ensure consistency in our company, both over time and across platforms. This is something which I have written about in an earlier blog post. All of the artwork used for TRACE Creative Agency will be scrutinised to make sure that it meets up to his exacting standards and all of our design and development activities will remain true to our company values and brand guidelines. We extend this promise to our clients also, a dedicated manager to oversee each and every project and who will make sure that all brand guidelines are adhered to and that all activities are consistent.
The Clients Needs Should ALWAYS Come First
The question of who controls the creative decisions when working with a client will undoubtedly alter the dynamic of the process; and when the clients ideas are not taken onboard, this can cause branding, marketing approaches or designs to be altered numerous times before being finalised. It is important therefore to make sure that at every stage, the client is kept informed of how their project is progressing; and that their ideas and needs are taken into account. This is the best approach to ensuring client satisfaction, rather than taking or forming an idea and running with it without the agreement of the client, only to have to make time consuming and costly changes later on. Of course, those with design skills and technical know-how are always available to advise on the best approaches to a project, but ultimately it is down to the project manager, and in turn the creative team, to design and develop for the clients needs as much as is possible.