First time outsourcing a web project: the ups and downs
It’s no surprise that I’ve been labeled as a “solo developer.” It defined my image for so long, since the beginning and early stages of my career. And, in the process, I built everything myself. It was the same work rhythm: plan the idea, design the product, develop it, and create marketing materials, including landing pages.
And so everything settled into a familiar and consistent groove until that one foreseeable factor entered the picture. What changed basically was the step I took to invest and work with a team and opting outsourcing.
This played in my favor and proved to be a strong asset. For one thing, they perform far better in their respective fields, delivering greater results that exceed my expectations, and it frees up my time to focus on other aspects, such as developing and building ideas that have been on my agenda.
You’re probably wondering what prompted me to write this blog. And, to be honest, it is about the first project in which I had no involvement in the technical aspects, which was Mockup’s Website. So here’s a rundown of what happened.
Mockup’s Website: The rundown
It started off from the fact that I needed a landing page for Mockup. The design was created by our designer. In comparison to how I’m used to doing things, I felt it took a long time, but the results were spectacular. Credits are given because the designer excelled at it and fulfilled a much better out-turn than I could have done, paying attention to consistent branding and details I would never have thought of, especially maintaining the identity of Mockup.
The next step was to find a developer to code it, which is where things got complicated. And this is where it gets intricate as there were two parts of the story. My first attempt commenced through posting a Story on my Instagram account asking for web developer portfolios. I ended up receiving CVs instead. I slipped up on it and after reviewing the different resumes, I selected someone and sent them the design.
The mistake was on my part. I thought that the developer should understand everything from the design given. But, unfortunately, that wasn’t the case at all. The results were extremely disappointing. Nothing went as planned or as expected. From embedding screenshots from our design to wrong dimensions, messy and sloppy behavior to being unresponsive and so on. We called in for a meeting, decided to give them another chance, and with that in the picture they couldn’t do it as well. We had no choice but to terminate the contract ending up with months being wasted.
The second attempt progressed much more smoothly. Our attorney knew a developer who owns and runs and web development agency. As simple as it gets, I contacted him and sent the design. We had a meeting to explain every aspect covering the tiniest of detail until, I guess, we bored him in the process. But, after the first experience, it was necessary.
We held several meetings and discussed the demo the provided. He was very understanding, took our requests into account, and did everything we requested. But it also took a long time, primarily to fix the minor details.
And, FINALLY, we launched Mockup, the website.
What I have learned along the way
To put things in another context, while working alone can be faster, working with others and outsourcing yields greater results. Along the way, I have noticed that it takes effort on my part as a manager to constantly check-in, review their progress, and keep everyone on the same page, whether through meetings or clear communication.
I caught sight of the different perspectives between the designer and the developer and had to shift them closer together, which is where my previous experience came in handy.
The entire process was very different than my expectations. I thought everyone could work autonomously, and that it would be as simple as sending the design and receiving a perfect website. But I suppose you learn through your experiences and the situations you find yourself in.
And that’s exactly what happened.