Project Hurdles: Client Content

In ten years of working on web sites I can’t remember a single project that didn’t get hung up by a client when it came time to provide content.

I’m sure that I am not alone in this, and that many others have experienced similar situations. Despite making changes in my project agreements, talking to clients about the hurdles of providing content and straight up telling clients that they are causing a project to lag, most projects continue to drag when it comes to the client providing content.

Although I’ve taken steps to protect myself and my interests in projects I am still at a loss as to why this happens and how to prevent it. So, I guess this post is more of a question than a post… Readers, I want to know how you deal with this.

How do you as a designer/developer fight project “creep”?

Please post your answer as a comment and in a future post I will compile the best answers and credit the author(s) with a link back and potentially a guest post by the commenter with the best answer.

Comments

  1. I’ve been in the industry for a long time…and this has always been a problem. The best way I’ve found is to ambush them in their office, at a face-to-face meeting and get them to give you hard copies of everything they have so you can flow it in manually. Don’t let them think too much because they will want to start editing, start second-guessing themselves the minute that content comes up!

    If that’s not possible, I break their site up into chunks and get them to dole it out to me that way. Keep them focused on the small tasks and they won’t become overwhelmed with providing ALL of the content. I call it iterative content development and plan accordingly. My clients fall 50/50 into those who cannot imagine how the content will read until they see it in context of a web page; and those who can work within Word docs until the end.

    And if all else fails, work with a copywriter to help manage all of that. Perception is half the battle…if a client is paying for someone to help them produce content, they are more likely to also pay attention.

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