Have you ever met someone that spoke a different language … maybe one that you didn’t think was human? Was it a form of code that was faster to type than speak? If they said things like CMS, SMS and PMS that caused you to send out an SOS, I might have just the solution to your problem.
In 2011 I was talking to a client (that shall rename nameless to protect the identity of the technically challenged) when it occurred to me that I have the unique ability to translate web development vernacular into something that a person with a flip phone can understand. This “aha” moment sparked the entrepreneurial fire inside of me that was the foundation for Traction Event Labs (formerly Stell).
Once I realized this unique talent was something not many people possessed, I focused on developing it further by learning more about how websites are built and the pitfalls that turn an average project into an ongoing nightmare. Many times, it’s not what the client says that is the biggest challenge but what goes unsaid that creates the most headaches for programmers.
Programmers and web developers are analytical, seeing requests as black and white; marketers see in Technicolor, adding “ish” to the end of their sentences. The little details a client might forget to communicate, like needing stringent internal security protocols or a lack of emphasis on SEO, is where the gap often occurs. This is where I step in, listening and translating the details. This has lead to producing some pretty amazing websites over the last five years (check them out here).
If your facing a communication gap with your web developer, here are five tips that will help you to better understand their world:
Learn their language. Check out my quick cheat sheet.
Understand anything is possible. Stop asking, “Can my website do this?” Given enough time and budget, the answer is always yes.
Be upfront. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is all about creating engaging content so if you don’t plan to regularly update your site, be upfront with your developers so they can manage your expectations when you ask the inevitable question, “Why don’t I show up higher on Google?”
You might not need an app for that. Before you ask your developer to build you a native app, pause for a minute and consider how you will encourage downloads; what features need to be accessed in an app vs. a mobile website; and will your customers make your app one of their top 5 apps (Read this TechCrunch Article).
Hire a translator. I know just the guy that speaks your lingo… 🙂