Learning the hard way – web design workshop 2.0

It’s been a productive autumn. After weeks (ok, months) of procrastinating, I have finally managed to turn my rambling thoughts into something cohesive and come up with a fine-tuned version of my web design workshop.

Like most things that you end up caring a lot, this workshop was born out of personal passion, frustrations and observations.

Bad communication

In my previous life, I’ve been working with and talking to a fairly varied bunch of people working with the web. Whether they’ve been developers, designers, content producers or project manager, I’ve noticed a common thread running across the problems they were experiencing in their work – the other people.

Why do web design projects constantly overrun their deadline? Why do developers always end up scratching their heads after the customer has come up with what seems a complete U-turn in a meeting.

For one reason or another, the communication has fallen down. Whether it’s down to unfamiliar terminology or inability to see things from others’ perspective, the ideas and arguments just aren’t getting across but (accidentally?) brushed aside. Until you hit the wall.

The first steps

So, I decided to try and help. I wanted to make it easier for people to understand each other in order to work well together. If everyone knew a little bit about the fundamentals of the web, web design and the design process, perhaps these problems wouldn’t exist.

That’s how it all started – a fairly rapid development and a small pilot which I got some really encouraging feedback from.

But after a couple of ‘real’ runs – although with similarly good feedback – I decided that it wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. And this autumn I’ve finally had a chance to look at my creation with a fresh perspective.

Audience first

With some incredibly patient help from a colleague I was able to put my finger on the problem that had been nagging in the background since I first set out to create the workshop – I hadn’t been careful enough to define my main target audience.

That is a little bit embarrassing since one of the biggest bulks of the day itself is spent talking about the importance of defining your audience. But I suppose it can happen to anyone. You get carried away or lost in passion and the core of what the whole thing is actually about blurs a little along the way.

As soon as that was clarified in my head, I was ready to tackle everything else too. And since I wasn’t in the completely wrong track to start with, I was happy to find that a lot of the old material could be replaced and tweaked to fit the new structure.

Now I just need to run this thing.

Photo by: svera/iStockphoto