What Web Developers Need From Clients
You need a new Website.
Or a Web application.
Or you have an amazing idea you need someone to actually build.
Chances are you’re going to need a developer.
There are a lot of stereotypes about developers. Many think we’re nocturnal (some of us are) or we speak in some sort of code. Or that if you come into our offices here at Overit you’ll find us wearing headphones and typing furiously with deep thoughtful frowns on our faces.
The truth, developers are a pretty awesome bunch! We can be friendly, we like to talk, and we especially love to solve problems. Even more than that, we want to be your friend!
For all the negative typecasting, developers are the people who take ideas and turn them into actual products. It’s our job to find solutions to everyday problems to make your life, and your customers’ lives, easier. And we’re pretty skilled at doing that.
But as a developer, there are things we need from you, our clients. As good as we are, we can’t do our jobs without a little help guidance from your side of the fence.
What do developers need from clients?
1: Your Timeframe and Budget
I hate making this the first item on the list, but the truth is it’s one of the most important factors in creating a successful Web site or application. Your budget, and your timeframe determine how I build your project, what your project will include, the ideas I can and cannot pitch, and (to be totally honest) if I’m the right developer for you. Truth is – you do get what you pay for. Given the time – which costs money – I can make something unique, special, and that will become successful. But I need to know how much time and budget you have, and what my limitations are so I can dream accordingly.
Your timeframe and budget also allow me to start thinking about where your project can go in the future. Maybe there’s a feature you have that just exceeds your current budget, or can’t be built in time. It doesn’t mean we can’t ever do it – just that we might have to put it off a little bit, and build your project in phases.
2: Your Vision
If I’m building you a house, I’m going to want to know how you intend to live in it.
Where should the kitchen go?
How many bedrooms will you need?
How will your living situation change in the years to come?
Asking these questions now allows me to account for all of your needs- present and future.
It’s the same in Web development.
As your Web developer, I certainly want to know where you are right now and how you see yourself your site/tool, but I’m also interested in what you want to become and, perhaps more importantly, why you want it. I’m asking these questions to understand:
What problems you want to solve
Why those problems exist
What makes your business successful
Why is your idea better than everybody else’s
Why are you doing what you’re doing
How can you do it better?
Once I know these things, I can build you something that will make your vision come to life. And awe the pants off your customers.
3: Your Audience
Your audience is perhaps the most important thing to me because they are the people who will be using whatever it is we build together. I need to understand these people. I want to know their habits, why they’re using this site. I want to know the general personas, what their goals are, what they want out of the site, and what they want out of you. To be blunt, in some ways, your audience is more important to me than you are… because your audience is the most important person to you.
4: Your Trust
I need this more than anything else. I need to know that I have your trust.
Web development is what I do – and I’ve spent years studying trends, seeing what works, what doesn’t. I’ve failed at times, and I’ve learned and grown from it. I’ve been tested, and I know what I’m doing. There are times when you will have an idea, and that idea may be completely counter-productive to the project. I need to know that I can tell you this and that we can work together to create something incredibly successful. –You may not realize this but I have a huge investment in your success. I don’t want to just create something to get your money. I want to create something that can change the world – or at least your world. And I’ll work incredibly hard to make that happen. In return for your trust, you get my best, my honesty, my experience, my ideas, and some great code. But we need to be able to trust one another.
I’m not an expert at SEO and I couldn’t write a press release to get you attention even on your most buzz-worthy day (we have other departments for that). But when it comes to Web development, I live it, I breathe it, and I can build you something you may not have even envisioned on your own. But I need your help.
Help me get the information I need to turn your idea into a finished product, and we’ll both get something we can proud of.
Hey! Overit is currently on the hunt for another rockstar developer. If you are a logistical, creative, insanely-talented developer – I want to talk to you! Get in touch with us by submitting your resume to joshs[at]overit[dot]com