This lesson is devoted to clarifying the role of the Designer. During the meeting I hope to discuss the following topics:
Prepare for the first ClieNt meeting - Review the client questionnaire and add or modify any questions you feel are required to obtain information about the client and their programming needs.
Review the client's existing Website and become familiar with it's content, forms, and any aspect of the site that could be improved with programming features. You may also want to research other web sites of a similar subject to gather ideas.
Prepare a programmers sampler which you can use to show the client the various programming options. This page will not only help you with the current client, it will help you if you decide to do freelance Web Development. Clients often do not know what they want until they are shown an example.
Attend the first client meeting - Attend the client meeting. Make sure you leave with a clear idea of the purpose of the site. Where could programming fit into this site? Could you create some scripts that make it easier for the client to maintain the site?
Find out where the site will be stored so you can contact the ISP and determine what Web languages they support. Does the client need help communicating with their current ISP or recommendations for hiring a new one? Do they want to purchase a domain name? Offer to help with all these issues.
Most client will not want to be involved in the code you create. They will have definite ideas about what they want the code to do but are intimidated by the details. Keep your discussion general and not too technical, just describe what the scripts will do.
Ask the client to give you whatever documents might be useful, such as forms they want to place online, a database they will be working with, or a calendar.
Relax and enjoy the experience. This is a great group of people. The clients are grateful for your help, your teammates want to like you. Everyone is nervous and a bit confused - it will wear off in about 18 weeks. :->.
When you attend the meeting dress in appropriate business attire (suit and tie is not necessary but maybe one step above student grunge). If the client seems really casual you can wear whatever you want to the subsequent meetings, but it never hurts to look professional the first time. Develop a plan for folks who are late to the client meeting.
One final note - In rare cases the client will ask for something that you are not sure you can deliver. In that case tell them you will research the subject and get back to them with a definite answer in 2 weeks.
resources for programmers - I have a list of sites which may prove useful, please send me a note if you have more sites to add.
work on SCRIPTS for the site - This process should begin as son as the client specifies what they want. Find out what their ISP supports and then start writing code. Even if you do not have the exact questions for the online form, create a dummy form to make sure the script runs and sends email. In the beginning have the email sent to yourself.
If the client wants a calendar, slide show or database start researching free scripts right away. You can install and customize a calendar before the design is finalized, just so you understand how the process works. If you find several calendar options ask the designer to make the call.
Please note, if for some reason your client changes their minds and decided they do not want to use Web programming at their site, you can still work on the following projects:
1. Develop a testing instrument which will be used by the class, client, and typical users to evalute the site. The testing form will be a web page, the answers will be written to a database and the results will be displayed as a web page.
2. Help the client with the aquisition of a domain name and research hosting options
3. Perform hardware and Software testing for the client site.
Contribute to the Web Proposal - The programmer will create the technical brief for the Web Proposal.
This report explains what scripts the programmer will be creating, where the scripts will be stored, and why the programs have been created as they have. || view TLT example ||
Test the site on hardware and software - The purpose of this test is to determine how the site performs in various hardware and software configurations. View the site in various resolutions, operating systems, browsers, and connection speeds. Then compile a report summarizing your findings and making recommendations for any changes that need to be made so the site can have a consistent look across platforms.
prepare a testing form & script to gather the feedback from the testers.
If you have time - develop a testing instrument which will be used by the class, client, and typical users to evaluate the site. The testing form will be a web page, the answers will be written to a database and the results will be displayed as a web page.
You may also be asked to help the client with the acquisition of a domain name and research hosting options.
Contribute to the final bid - Keep track of your hours so you can assist the PM in creating a bid. The WorkLog document may help with this task. Work Log (Word)
Assist in client handoff process - Provide a written summary of what scripts you have created for this client and how the scripts work. Include the passwords which are required and the steps that need to be followed to make modifications to the calendar. Explain how to replace or add to the images in a slide show or random image script. List the name of the ISP the client is using, their username and password if you have it, and explain how to keep their domain name current.