A number of workshops, alongside with keynotes, panels and, of course, parties, were organized during the seventh Weekend Media Festival that gathered more than 4000 visitors from 12 countries. Workshops enabled participants to learn various practical things they need in their everyday work and to return home from Weekend with concrete skills and knowledge. One of those workshops was We Need a New Website. What Now?, held by Marko Lokas and Zoran Šteković of the Croatian web agency Broj 42.
The workshop was focused on how to structure a tender assignment and implement a tender for a new website development. Marko and Zoran explained how they often come across tender assignments that are either too complex or not clear enough, and immidiatelly realize that there are no grounds for good-quality proposals or, ultimately, for choosing the best contractor.
In both cases, preparing a proposal is a lasting process and, consequently, an expensive one. Moreover, as the tender process is unclear, the outcome is uncertain for both parties involved. Our goal is to present a guide to a good-quality implementation of a tender for a new website, as well as to take the participants of the workshop through the whole process, step by step.
What is a good website?
But what does it mean to develop a good website today? Our interviewees explained that the strategy of one’s presence on the internet needs to be in line with one’s business and brand strategies. The technology should not be a stumbling block, but should support the envisaged functionalities and processes on all devices equally well.
We have often seen well designed and well produced websites, following whose launch there simply was not enough funds for their maintenance and further development strategies. To create a good website means to build a website actively serving the goals of the organization, in a way that, in the long run, is feasible and cost-effective financially and business-wise, and sustainable production-wise.
5 years ago vs today
Marko and Zoran gave us a few examples they worked on, which made them very proud, such as ShoeBeDo online shop that has been able to prove that Croats aren’t afraid of shopping online for shoes after all. They find it to be a great example of how a long-term and active cooperation between a client and a web agency can yield excellent results. The redesign of Maistra’s website is also something that they are proud of and that is efficiently playing its role in the greater digital picture of the hotel company. Finally, a good example of a corporate website resulting from a successful cooperation between teams is the Atlantic Group’s website
In general, websites should serve well defined and measurable goals that are necessarily linked to many different processes within organizations. The difference between today and five years ago lies in the fact that today there are greater possibilities of integrating websites with such processes because the technology is more developed and accessible, and the number of different devices used to access the internet is endless. Interfaces are easier to use and there are many more channels thanks to the omnipresence of the social networks. Generally speaking, the users are richer by five years of experience in using a digital environment and living in it. And that, at the very start, breaks down most of the obstacles that in the past used to pose insurmountable problems.
Company’s people also understand the processes of building websites much more than they used to – different people in relevant positions have already gone through such processes once or even several times so far, gathering both good and bad experiences along the way. Zoran and Marko still don’t expect the clients to have a deeper understanding of the issue seeing as that is not what the clients do; moreover, both technology and standards change daily. Educating the clients at the beginning of a project and during one is extremely important and they pay special attention to that.
Marko and Zoran were very pleased that Weekend Media Festival has recognized the needs of the market seeing and gave them an opportunity to hold a workshop, as one does not have an opportunity to learn about preparing for a pitch like that anywhere else.
The process is oftentimes taken lightly because it is in the digital domain. Furthermore, often the clients feel that they can change things easily as the process progresses, and that is not wrong, but it certainly generates more expenses, extends deadlines and often causes the motivation of all those involved to drop. It is important to understand that the everyday use of the internet does not necessarily mean that one has the necessary skills to implement the process of developing websites and that “the neighbor’s kid” after all is not the genius he seemed to be at the very beginning.