Once a website project approaches the final delivery stage, it signals an end to many hours of tireless work. It’s an emotional moment for all designers and developers. I have maintained relationships with customers, designers, and software engineers after hand-off. The hardest part is not bidding goodbye to the people involved but finding a pixel-perfect procedure to keep the relationship alive like the website.
I have jotted down key points experienced over the last few years which has made it easier for a senior like me to conduct the handoff. A smooth transition is critical to see your work come alive, get feedback, and testimonials. I listen, have patience, and communicate to make the entire process worthwhile.
Points to remember before the final handover
Having handled several website development projects with designers, fellow engineers, and dealing with customers these points have to be crystal clear. Once the work is over, the relationship and communication continue.
Officially everything begins when the proposal of design and development is discussed and finalized. The client is aware of work at every stage and the handover is not an unpleasant surprise. Use a tool like a project management to make the guidelines.
To have everyone on the same page do the following:
1.) Make background of the evolution of design and development in every phase. The client should know the working and systems in use. This communication ensures awareness of all practices being deployed.
2.) After wireframing, conduct a walkthrough’ for the client to understand the progress. Let the designer explain why he is using a particular pattern, color scheme, images and text.
3.) Explain how much time will be taken to design and develop. Answer any questions related to timelines and goals.
4.) Don’t forget to assemble the right team in advance. Scrambling for connecting with professionals in the middle of the project creates delays.
5.) The configuration and DSN settings should be clear. Don’t forget the backup of the old site and return the same to the client.
You owe it to the client for a smooth transition when it concerns servers, security, and certificates. The entire process should be hassle-free.
1.) To err is human. Keeping this adage in mind, minimizing risks is the only solution rather than making costly mistakes that abandon the project. I say this with my personal experience. It is important to create a good impression right till the completion to all clients.
2.) Share all practical information and technical specifications with the internal team which will eventually handle the company website.
3.) Ensure all professionals working in your team know their job and are available with ready solutions even after the hand off. Often freelance experts finish their jobs and move on to the next project and forget the finished ones. This ensures the client will never give negative feedback to you.
4.) Often developers forget to handover several important files and fail to explain related points. Give licensed products and software after completion of work.
5.) You are used to acronyms at work and please do not forget to clarify the same to the client.
6.) Make a list of FAQs for technical data and present it to save time. This includes login for admin, ownership and licenses. Avoid sharing while work is in progress. Clients may tamper and create problems. Non-technical people fail to understand the complexity of coding again.
Be Patient and listen
Few clients poke their nose even while work is underway. It is hard to be patient and listen to them. But it is the key to keeping calm and getting things done efficiently. For example, they may wish to change the design mid-way. I have gone through this pain with many project managers coordinating with me.
When you are making a responsive design, the trouble is that a client might ask why it is not yet showing on his tablet or smartphone. If it is a dynamic news site or an e-commerce site plan to create a mobile friendly design as 85% of users check the phone and later shift to tablets or desktops.
So what do you do to avoid frustration build up? Explain the breakup points in the design. The developer will appreciate if the breakpoint is clear and specific so it does not interrupt the site when it goes live. The technicalities involved in responsive sites are complex. The challenge lies in making the design impressive and the responsiveness simple.
It is good to develop a grid system for better understanding to avoid confusion during the handover. It helps in scaling the system later, however annoying it is in the initial stage. Give ample room for type fonts, styles, color palette and image optimization. Being comprehensive and compressing images before delivery is important.
Handover with a final meeting and a firm handshake, expecting all goes well.
Sreenivas Subramaniam is a blogger have writing many informative blog posts on host of categories like digital marketing,education and many more. Apart from writing blogs, his interests also includes photography, listening to music and reading.
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