Why Do Web Design Projects Come to a Standstill?

A web designer’s schedule can be challenging. We try to plan so that projects don’t overlap. Scrambling to launch multiple websites simultaneously isn’t ideal. But it seems like something always disrupts our carefully crafted agenda.

A stalled project is often to blame. Everything is moving along – until it isn’t. Suddenly, your eager client has gone quiet. And you’re left to wonder and wait.

It may be a temporary situation. But it can drag on for months or longer. And the delay can have a significant impact.

Not only does the situation hurt your schedule, but it can also affect your bottom line. That money you were expecting hangs in the air along with the project. It’s not a good situation for your business.

So, why do web design projects come to a standstill? Here are a few thoughts on the root causes. Along the way, we’ll offer some tips to get things moving again.

Too Much Design by Committee

Project stakeholders must work together effectively and efficiently. But the more people involved, the harder it is to collaborate. And we can’t forget about the difficulty in achieving consensus.

The result is something that web designers loathe: design by committee. It’s a situation where everyone puts their ideas on the table. The ideas often conflict with and contradict each other. A lack of leadership and a clear vision for the project cause chaos.

This internal strife can grind progress to a halt. Even worse is that web designers are caught in the middle. We listen to the gripes but feel powerless to act.

All is not lost, however. If your client’s leadership is amiss, you might be able to help. Stepping into the void and bringing people together can restart progress.

The key is to get everyone working toward the same goal. Once that happens, things can come together quickly.

Project stakeholders may have difficulty agreeing on a path forward.

The Woes of Client-Created Content

Clients can be great at thinking big when it comes to content. They’ll have grand ideas for in-depth pages and blog posts. They envision a website that’s teeming with compelling articles.

Ideas aren’t the problem. The ability to deliver on them gets in the way. The reality tends to hit clients when it’s time to do the work.

It’s among the most common reasons for a slowdown. Ambitious clients bite off more than they can chew. They may feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of them.

The difficulty for web designers is that content is often the last piece of the puzzle. We can’t move forward without it. Thus, a beautiful new website may sit dormant while we wait.

Thankfully, it’s another area where we can pitch in. Our clients aren’t necessarily content creators. Therefore, they need someone to act as a guide.

You can walk them through the content creation process. Provide writing prompts or templates that clients can fill in. Short of that, you might also offer to produce the content yourself.

Content-related delays can go on indefinitely. Being proactive could make a positive difference.

Web design clients may struggle in putting together content.

A Client That’s Strapped for Time

Some clients have multiple responsibilities. It’s especially the case for small organizations. A decisionmaker may wear many hats. Their website is just one.

Building a website requires time to focus on the details. A client will need to review the site’s design and content. They’ll also need to coordinate with team members. There’s also the time needed for meetings and brainstorming.

It’s a challenge even during relatively quiet times. And it can slow things down immensely when something unexpected pops up.

It can be difficult for a client to ramp things back up. Regaining momentum after a long break doesn’t come naturally. Thus, they may put the project on the back burner.

You could wait for your client to restart things. But this also adds uncertainty to your schedule.

Communication might bring the project back to life. Get in touch with your client and offer assistance. Try to encourage them to delegate tasks when possible.

Everyone has limited time to get things done. Demonstrating a willingness to help may ease a client’s burden.

A client may be busy tending to other areas of their business.

Deal with Project Delays Like a Pro

Dealing with project delays is a part of being a web designer. We may pride ourselves on being timely. But client-related stoppages are out of our control.

And there are a variety of reasons for a standstill. A client may have too much on their plate. They might also struggle with managing other stakeholders. Or they had an unexpected issue with their budget. The sky’s the limit.

The challenge for designers is that we need client participation. Sure, we can perform some tasks in the background. But we can’t finish the job without their feedback and approval.

Sometimes a delay is a positive. It frees up time to work on other projects while we wait. But that’s not always the case.

Indeed, the uncertainty can hang over our heads. When a client does get around to restarting, it inevitably clashes with our schedule. We’re left trying to squeeze the project into what we’re already doing.

The best we can do is to try and keep things moving forward. Making an effort here will be appreciated by your clients. As is knowing they aren’t alone in wanting to finish the project.

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