in Web Redesign

The first thing you learn about a redesign…

is that the process can be as painful as plucking eyebrows. We were pretty concise from the start about what we wanted. We knew what we were looking for and as the lead and the motivator of this whole project, I just wanted to get moving as fast as we could. Meanwhile the vendor wanted to be a lot more plodding and slow about things to start.

The company came to visit us last month. It was a two-day visit. It wasn’t excessive, but it wasn’t exactly filled with lots of time either. From the start, it was important to me that we went with a small team to meet with them. In our case, there weren’t other people on campus who had access to publish their own pages other than myself and the IT web manager. So that made it a bit easier. We added a faculty person to ensure buy-in, but we were a community college and so the things to navigate weren’t as frustration as they might be in other places.  I full recognize that benefit from the start.

They came to us with some insight into the CMS. They showed us how it worked and that was good. But they also gave us this approval cycle worksheet. It was okay, except the entire process for our purposes seemed premature. They were probably dumming down the process for us a bit by giving us the ability to specify who would need access to what and then to let us have them put it together for us.

But that didn’t work for us. Because we were still using a hand-coded system and I was the only person responsible for updating all of those pages. We didn’t want to divest control from the start, we wanted to be slow and deliberate about it. But they were forcing our hands.

So I half-wittingly did their process, because we just wanted to move it on. I knew we could change it later and even after explaining why we didn’t want to do it their way…finally just went with it and realized we’d never get anywhere otherwise.

After this, we waited for mockups. And waited…and waited…

But they finally came.

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