All technical projects begin with a set of requirements. Basically, web design requirements are the objectives that the project must meet. When you begin your web design project, you will most likely be speaking with some type of Project Manager. That person will ask questions about your project. They are not trying to work with you to come up with a business solution, they do not wish to explore your business problems. They expect you to lay out the requirements and tell them exactly what you want. The difficulty here is that technical requirements require a certain level of technical expertise. Most laypeople don’t have the experience to properly communicate technical requirements to a technical person.
Thoroughly think through what you want to accomplish with your web design project. An offshore company won’t act as a consultant and make suggestions. They will only give what you specifically ask for and nothing else. So you will need to do your own research, thoroughly think through your project and write out what you want your project to accomplish.
The second problem that can arise in offshoring a web design project, is the language barrier. If you are able to come up with your own your web design requirements, the next challenge is dealing with a web design project manager for whom English is a second language. Even if your Project Manager seems to be doing a good job, there are still many layers below him or her to which your project will be passed. Those people have even less understanding of the English language than your Project Manager does. In fact, your project will probably be passed off 2 or 3 more times to various people in various departments. With all that handing off and the communication issues, the potential for problems abound. You could end up spending countless hours of your own time doing quality assurance and still not really know what you’re going to end up with.
When considering who to go with, think about weather or not the person you’re talking to, really understands you. If you’re having trouble communicating with the web design project manager, it’s only going to get worse at the next level.
A design/development project requires a great deal of collaboration and is best done in person. If it cannot be done in person, the next best alternative is to have a very short cycle of collaboration, where the Project Manager or web designer/developer asks questions and you respond immediately. There is momentum to the discussion, followed by immediate action. When offshoring your web design project, you introduce a time delay. That delay can break all the momentum of the project. All of the stop and go can lead to 20 different broken threads or lists going back and forth and much confusion. Quick response time is imperative to project success. If there is a 24-48 hour delay in communication, it can lead to a delay in project completion as well as an increase in the budget, and the quality of the project will suffer. Plan for your project to take extra time. Start out with the assumption that the project will not be ready on time, and that you will need extra time to communicate back and forth to get it done properly. There are definite risks when working with an offshore web designer/developer.*It will mean more work for you:
*You will need to find the best business solution – An offshore designer/developer will not act as a consultant.
*You will need to do your own research and come up with the best business solution yourself.
*You will need to write your own web design requirements – You will need to plan your web design project thoroughly and communicate your plans in detail. An offshore designer/developer will only give you what you specifically ask for.
It will require more of your time:
*You will need to plan additional time to ensure that your project is done correctly. Ongoing communication as well as project completion will be delayed due to the time differences and language barriers.
The quality of your project can suffer:
*Communication and cultural differences – Your designer may not understand your product or service the way you assume they do. For example, if they don’t have private health insurance in their country, can they build a quality website that will help you sell insurance?
You don’t have any recourse if you are not happy with the results:
*American laws won’t protect you if you are unhappy with your website. If you are going to spend over $1,000.00 on your web design project, then you may not want to risk going with an offshore designer/developer.