Feedback from Clients During Projects

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jason

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I'm sure we've all been in this situation before where we have taken on a client who expresses an urgency to complete the project, but then takes an age to actually tell you what they want.

Personally my greatest problem is usually gathering content. I will sit down with them in the shortest time possible and determine an agreed sitemap, etc, but when it comes to actually providing the precise information/content they want on their new website, I'm always left waiting and waiting or listening to secretaries tell me that such and such a person is not available to meet/talk. Even in cases where the poeple in charge delegate the task of supplying content to a more junior rank within the company, the junior employee still needs to liaise with their seniors and ends up facing the same problem as myself.

Obviously I could make up content myself, but our clients surely know their business best and although they might want someone to clean up the language used, the source of the information on their own website should come from them. Am I wrong in thinking this?

Surely if they hired a professional copywriter to produce the content, the copywriter would need to sit down with them to determine what they want to say. So I suppose that's it, it's not so much how it's said, it's what they want said seems to be so hard to get out of them.

I've had small static projects that were allegedly supposed to last <= 1 week, in reality span months from the initial request to launch.

Any pointers? - as I feel when clients ask you to develop a website for them, too many think the request to start is all that you need from them to complete the project. I don't believe in using CMS solutions and leaving the client in full control over every aspect of content. Too many times I've seen good websites plumet in the SERPs because clients are not aware of the power they can have when they demand ultimate control over the wording of content.
 

achieve

New Member
Is that me posting this post under a different username?

No, but in all seriousness, this is a really common issue that I too come across. Sometimes I end writing the content myself. On other occasions, the client will eventually realise that they have to get the finger out, and after months of nothing, will then tackle the project head on.

I suppose my only advise is to gently remind the client on a regular basis, but in reality, I also think that this is just one of those things we have to put up with as web developers.

Re: your comment re:CMS, I also agree that sometimes providing a CMS whereby the client adds all / most of content to the site, results in nothing being added to the site. One needs to be careful when recommending and setting up CMS for client - I have a few CMS enabled websites, where the client has never used the CMS - thus I'm more careful now when recommending same.
 
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