Analyze their goals

Hey guys! I've been working whole day so this one's a bit late to come out. Nevertheless, here it is with respect to the community!

One of the easiest concepts to understand for everyone managing a web development team is that you're working on a site that meets the client's goals, not what you would like it to be.

Please do not confuse your vision of the project with what you would like it to be. Now really, doing exactly what the client wants and needs from the initial start will take twice less time!

Well, the first question I'd have if I were you at this point would be "So how do I know exactly what he wants and needs?" Easy! First of all you have to figure out the customer's goals (use the creative brief for that - more on that here). Second - after you analyse this document you identify the core goals (be it new customers from the Net, Additional sales profits or marketing goals) and incorporate them into your vision of the project.

After you've got a clear vision of what the future site will look like you just have to sit down for an hour and write the Requirements specifications (more on that here again) which you must afterwards discuss with the client to share the same vision to eliminate any future misunderstandings possible. Then revise the document and be sure to ask the client to sign it.

So how does it all actually benefit you?
Simple! You identify the goals, see them clearly (Hey Mark Joyner! You rock!) and save time doing unnecessary work later.

You must have asked yourself earlier why some particular sites look "too simple" or "ugly" to you and their owners like them anyway - it's not the developers did their job badly - they just met the client's needs and sometimes even replaced something really cool and right with what he wanted. It's his site, his life and sometimes it's better to leave it that way.

If you see you could improve something in the way the client sees it, don't criticize his/her vision - just tell how you see it could be done "even better" - suggest some options to choose from. Your options. Explain pros and cons of each of these and the client will simply choose what he/she seems to be appropriate.

Yes, it's that simple!

Check out the full contents of the future book for more info!

I'd like to know how helpful was this advice, add your comments here please! And as always - I will be more than pleased to answer any questions you might have so feel free to ask them ))