There are lots of details to check over before launching a website. The development team, the client, and possibly representative users all go over the site before launch to make sure all is satisfactory.
For large projects, we have a structured testing program to ensure all the promised features are delivered as expected. For small sites, it is not worth the overhead to put such a program in place, but it is still important to get input on the site, leading to sign off before the new site is released to the world.
As a client, you can make the best use of your review time by adopting the following practices:
Give input early. You will be given access the site early in development process. Don’t wait until just before launch: take the time to give a critical eye as soon as possible. We will take your input into account, and can apply what we learn from you to the features we develop going forward. An early start can also help to avoid a big list of items to address at the end of the project.
Consider the importance of your requests. As we normally work as a professional service, you pay us only for our time. Some clients are tempted to be extremely particular about the details of the site, which can lead to increased costs to deliver. Often, upon stepping back after the launch, such clients realize that their requests have had little impact on the value of the site to their business.
Give clear input. We can address input most efficiently when we can pinpoint exactly what you are requesting. First, make sure we can reproduce the request. In the issue tracker, give us the information to see what you see:
- The url where the item of interest can be seen
- Any steps to reproduce the state leading to the item appearing or occurring
- A screenshot can be worth a thousand words
- If it is a visual detail, it may be browser-specific. Especially if you are reviewing the site in Internet Explorer, include the browser and version you are using.
Throughout the project, and especially through the final review before acceptance and launch, the developers and the client are a team. These tips can enhance the teamwork, leading to a superior and efficiently delivered website.