For Rapid Development, Slow Down

Another conference call in our quest to a 14 Sep website launch. We’ve really established a successful workflow, which will server me well as a model for future client relations. One of the first things we established was the need for more meetings before actual launch day:

  •  Look & feel, navigation, initial site layout – 22 Aug
  •  Roles & workflow; preparation for transfer to live site – 26 Aug

We quickly decided on the overall color scheme & font selection. The font, not a standard web font, will have to be imported – which means I will have to learn how to do that. More homework, but then that’s why we’re applying the Pareto principle with our conference calls.

The generous nature of the Open Source community provided us with a template acceptable to our end goals and compatible with our color scheme, boosting our progress and reducing the design effort by… well, about 80%.

Having done her homework, she provided two reference sites that gave me a good idea of her internal picture of the finished product we’re aiming for.

Conferencecallphone

The key thing I’m learning is that it’s possible to not be in the same room, but to really be on the same page. In fact, the screen sharing sessions coupled with the telephone calls, with her on speaker phone and me wearing an earbud, actually helps us focus by removing visual distractions and eliminating the need to “shoulder surf” while attempting to share the same computer screen.

We’re each in our own work environment, on our own computers. And we’re both focused on the task at hand. With each “meeting”, we get a clearer picture of how much work we’ve done (the demo site looks more like the finished product), of how much work we have left to do (the demo site doesn’t work like the finished product) and how best to close the distance (we have a finite number of days until actual launch day).

Spending hours on the phone, taking the time to talk things through, being able to review the same computer screen together, is what enables us to get so much done so quickly. In many ways, the cell phone and screen sharing will end up being the real technological heroes.

That is, assuming we have cause to celebrate.

Back to work. More to come

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