Friday, 25 February 2011

TCRM and Bespoke Web Design

TCRM build a wide variety of sites from brochure sites like Neath Florist Dolly Bach’s  or e-commerce sites like Elvis Jumpsuit supplier ETA Supplies they put together to a high standard using techniques we’ve practiced and refined more and more with each site we do. But every couple of sites we get a request to do something we haven’t done before and made part of our “toolkit”. It can range from a new questionnaire system to a different e-commerce model.

Bespoke web design is not an easy process to schedule and too easy to underestimate. Open up any book on software engineering and there will be a chapter detailing the horror of project over runs. Things can get so bad that the developers involved start questioning their chosen career path. They look longingly at the hassle free lives of the people serving them their cheeseburgers and begin to believe they won’t look that silly after all in those little hats.

I believe that the most fundamental reason for bespoke web design taking so long is that programming is a complicated business. There is no escaping that fact. And the more people  get online and use web sites more frequently, the higher their expectations are. A simple data capture form is complicated enough. A well written SQL script to write the table is an art in itself. Then the HTML form to capture the data. JavaScript to validate the input. PHP to process the input and well formed HTML to display a result. On top of that it needs to be well tested. The phrase, ‘Can I just have a form for doing this,’ always sends a shiver down my spine. There is no ‘just’ when it comes to programming. It takes time and effort to get even the simple things done properly and along the way you will wonder how long it takes to get those little stars on your name badge.

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