How to describe a project to web development company?

Many customers still think that project managers and developers can read their thoughts. After all, they are professionals! Not really. No matter how competent, experienced and smart the developer maybe, it will not matter if the customer cannot describe a project.

If you already have a website which doesn’t suit you with something, you can be considered lucky - you have invaluable experience that can be analyzed, you can clearly see the advantages and disadvantages of the old site and set the ideas for a new one.

If you want to develop a website from scratch, it will be a little more difficult for you. However, in any case, it is better to have at hand a specific plan of action that will help you to get the result you need.

Things to consider before the interview

We will divide the process of creating a website into stages where there is a close interaction between the customer and the client:

  • “About us”;
  • Technical specification to the company/freelancer;
  • Website design development;
  • Presentation of website design.

About us is a process that completely depends on the client. Therefore, before the interview with the contractor, the client needs to know the purpose of the site and what functions it should perform in the end. The main question the client must raise is what kind of website he wants to create, and what kind of information should be posted on the site.

Here are some questions you should keep in mind:

1. Do you want a new site or need a redesign of the old one?

2. Tell a contractor about your business. Who are you, what products or services do you offer?

3. Do you have a unique selling proposition? Who are your competitors and how do you differ from them?

4. Give examples of sites that you like

5. Who is your target audience? What age group do your customers belong to?

When you come to the company with a problem, they should first analyze the specifics of your business, research the area (current trends, competitors), understand the subject matter, and only then select the solution that suits you. That`s why you should describe your project as clear as possible.

Technical specification

So, set your goals and found the target audience. What needs to be done to achieve all this?

If you have decided on your goals, it's time to set a task for the contractor. Here is where technical specification comes into place. It helps to point out the wishes of the client. Once the developer or project manager knows your goals, it will be easier for him to know how exactly they are going to achieve it.

A technical specification is a description and coordination of all project details and user flow. Specialists will think over all the nuances of each block and API requests. The client and contractor count all the details and think through the future product to the smallest detail. At this stage, you get acquainted with a dedicated project manager and technical specialist (if you wish, you can organize a brainstorming session with all team members).

The main idea is no matter how professional the performer is, the customer must take this stage as seriously as possible and actively participate in the process. The client and the contractor can work efficiently only by cooperating with each other. Only coordinated communication at all stages will lead to the result.

What do you need to find out from the developer at this stage? Make sure the technical specification contains the following blocks:

  • Marketing. It allows you to analyze the internal and external environment of the company.
  • Technical. It makes it possible to evaluate the functionality of the site and the complexity of programming.
  • Design. Prepare some examples of the websites you like. It can be a platform of your competitors. Or simply describe how your website should look like. 
  • Content. Requirements for the text content of the site.

Do not put too much on the performer. It is important for you to show what you like and what you do not. A professional developer will find the right tools. You may ask them more about the process of development: why this approach? How it will help the business? Why this solution is the best?

After receiving brief information of your project and filling out the technical specification, a contractor will tell you the estimated cost and terms of the product development.

What does project manager expects from you?

Give the sales representative a clear view of the information that will be posted on the site. To successfully solve the problem, the developer must know the ongoing project. The task of the designer is to create a high-quality and result-oriented website using all the completeness and visual capabilities of the material provided. In advance, discuss with the performer the user flow of the product. The information provided should be divided into semantic blocks.

A website is a dynamic product. It must be constantly updated, modernized and improved along with the business. It is important for the customer to determine the prospects for the development of the site for the next couple of years and discuss this with the developer so that in the future it would be possible to introduce new sections without changing the design, to maintain an information archive, publish fresh advertising materials and so on.

If a company does not provide the customer with information about the platform on which the site will be implemented, it must be requested. The developer should tell you what kind of technologies they will be using, why they are best suited for your site, what restrictions they impose on design and functionality.

Final tips

Do not rush to make a choice between different contractors only on a price / time ratio.

Ask yourself which representative of a company showed the most interest in your project, did they listen to you, did they ask clarifying questions, did they spoke a language that you understood, and did they quickly respond to your questions or wishes? Look again at their portfolio to make sure that you are satisfied with the level and style of their work. And most importantly - think about whether you have confidence that the selected company will do what is necessary to achieve your goals and objectives.