08/22/2004

Web Teamwork – Good, Bad, Indifferent?

The developedtraffic inaugural post, Web Design & Search Engines & Internet Marketing, touched on an issue that — for some reason — I had thought had long been resolved: that is, simply, the difficulties that Web folk sometimes have in working together. The fact that communities of people within one discipline or another (e.g., web design, search engine optmization for ranking purposes) have sprung up on the Web doesn't mean there is as much "cross-pollenization" as there could be. Or should be.

This may be partly due to the fact that it takes some doing, in almost any Web field, to keep up with technology, developments, new ways of looking at things. Good enough. What this means, though, is that the old problems — the lack of communication, cooperation and, perhaps, understanding — have not been resolved in all spheres.

Let's take a decent-sized website project. I think we can agree that any site should:

  • be engaging and look good, with a "look" and feel pertinent to the company's industry
  • contain all functionality necessary to achieve the site's aims
  • be easy to use and take into account the preferences and goals of its target audience(s)
  • above all else, should contribute to and achieve the goals of the company for the site

There is more, but a quick look at even the above few points tells us that every one of those points encompasses more than one discipline; most require blends of graphic design, web design, programming, usability analysis, and most of all, a marketing overview in order to achieve the site's goals.

Web folk are often focused on one or a few of these disciplines. But, historically, having to deal with people in another department has been treated like the landing of alien invaders arriving to take over "their" territory.

Well, okay. It's a bit understandable, particularly where you have talented, bright, strong-willed, successful people. Particularly where they've had their own "magic moments" in creating or designing or marketing or whatever. On the other hand, just as it's a stretch to imagine designing a website without consulting the client in-depth about its company and industry, there is much to be gained by getting other points of view. Particularly from other talented, bright, strong-willed, successful people.

You just may be surprised. Some of those "magic moments" can arrive when you're collaborating with others.

Diane

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