Quality in the development of Internet projects

    Hi, Habr! In this article I want to touch upon the difficult issue of the quality of an Internet project, or, more simply, a website made to order from a third-party studio.

    Currently, it is characteristic of the market that most companies (we will call them studios) issue projects of medium and low quality. Why it happens? What are the main factors affecting the quality of a product during its production in the studio?

    1 /

    Why are there so many low-quality service companies on the market? Let's try to highlight several main reasons:

    - Low threshold for entering the market. In order to declare yourself a “web studio” now it’s enough to gather a team of 2-3 people and make your own website. The development market is still considered "student", and this opinion is unfair only partially. Indeed, what quality of work can be expected from such a “team”? It is worth noting that the presence of a large number of unprofessional studios beats the image of the market as a whole, negatively affects even the reputation of large agencies.

    - Customer disorientation. The market is quite young, and many customers are poorly oriented in the subject area, often not understanding why they are taking money from them. Therefore, they turn to the studio, which I mentioned in the paragraph above. Fortunately, the situation is improving, and large companies developing their Internet business (and for which it is important) are already quite competent in this matter.

    - The growing popularity of boxed CMS. With all the positive influence of this trend, there is a negative point. Small studios received an excellent tool (beautiful, honed, competent) for “blowing dust into the eyes” of the customer. They hide “behind the box” the lack of their own achievements and the low level of professionalism, flaunting the achievements and high qualifications of the vendor. A customer who does not understand these subtleties sees a beautiful product, and orders a service that will be rendered to him deliberately poorly.

    - The shortage of personnel. Many would be happy to hire qualified employees, but they are not, because you need to improve your qualifications - study the experience of colleagues from other companies, read articles on the subject, attend specialized events (conferences, seminars), and increase the level of complexity of ongoing projects. Most are too lazy to engage in their professional self-improvement, stuck at some stage of development. Therefore, the main asset and the most important competitive factor for each studio is its team.

    - The lack of specialized media that would cover the development of Internet projects. The factual absence of quality standards and specialized associations uniting web studios also negatively affects.

    2 /

    What are the main factors affecting product quality? I’ll try to briefly convey the experience of ADV / web-engineering and the thoughts expressed during regular discussions of this issue within the company:

    - A clear understanding of the objectives of the project. Very often, representatives of the studio do not think about why the customer needs the project and begin to do it “in order”. To “beautiful and pictures”, to “here complex animation and 3D”, to “cool”, to “see how we can”, etc. This is often said, but when it comes to implementing a specific project, most simply forget about it.

    Work on the creation of the site is not a reason for staff to express themselves!This is a clear business task that must first be defined (not allowing the customer to talk about “red jumping balls on the main one”, and transferring the conversation to the business and its goals on the Internet), and then strictly follow it, remember it at all stages. Responsible for this process is not the customer, but the manager from the studio, and no one else. Unfortunately, such managers in the market can be counted on the fingers.

    Developing ideas for a project is a creative process, no doubt, but it should also be systematized. The studio must guarantee the customer the achievement of the result, and for this there must be an effective mechanism, a strategy of “forming an idea”. Only in this case can one speak of quality not as a random variable “succeeded / failed”, but as a system indicator.

    - Work with content. Very often, the studio draws a beautiful "hat" for the main page, and believes that the design and decoration are finished. This is a major mistake. Content is what ultimately creates any website. It is different, and it needs to be presented in different ways. The description of the product catalog simply cannot be “hammered” into the same template as the greeting of the chairman of the board of directors of the company.

    Only by working through all the content, creating a unique layout for it, design, design and visual with a certain emotional coloring, you can expect to get an effective and high-quality result.

    - Full support for the project after its creation. There are many examples when an initially good project put into operation turned into a terrible mess and a pile of information!

    The opening of the site is the zero stage of its life, and its maintenance and development are the most important factors requiring no less qualification than its creation. Of course, the content can be contributed by the customer’s employees, it is not necessary to give all the work to the studio. But this should happen under the strict supervision of the studio’s employees, who remember and know why “this plate is needed here” and “bold” there. One careless movement can ruin the ideal visual design, one wrong paragraph can negate all the efforts spent on the development of the project. This must always be remembered!

    For this material, I deliberately took into consideration issues that are spoken about infrequently, preferring to talk about “creativity” and “concepts”. It is quite obvious that only part of the thoughts on the problem are presented in the text, but they seem to me extremely important.

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