Failure To Launch

I’ve recently completed a web app for an event registration on campus, and it is now being tested by the client. I sent an email to the client letting them know its ready for them to test it and to send me any changes they would like to implement (I get a salary so doesn’t matter if is 1 thing or 100 things).

They actually did a nice job going through and making comments, however, their delivery put me off a bit.

Why will people say – “The app [insert whatever here] works great [ sometimes they even say perfectly] and we’re ready to launch it.  Can you change this text, change this email subject line, make the user experience path go here instead, alter these prices and add a link to our Facebook page?”

Ok.  All really good feedback (because the customer is always right, except for when they’re incredibly stupid), but don’t tease me with the first line into a false hope that I’m “done” working on the project.

I’ve done this enough to know – once it launches there will be tweaks, that’s expected.  I understand and HOPE the client tests (beyond my testing) it and makes comments and had changes.  But please don’t tell me its ready to launch – and give me a pick list like a housing inspector.  “Yea, this house is ready to sell, you just need to replace the roof, fix the railings on the deck, patch the sidewalk, repair the furnace”

I’ve also done this long enough to expect this type of to do list, today it just got to me.  Maybe they’re trying to make me feel good before dumping work on me.  Maybe they’re uncomfortable asking me to change things, I’m not sure. I’m happy to change things, I even asked them to tell me what I needed to change.  But that “we’re ready to launch” followed by the task list thing stuck me.

Doing that completely negates the first sentences of the email where you praise and assure me you’re happy with the solution.  I’m all about improving something I’ve built ESPECIALLY when it improves the user experience.

So please, if you’re reading this and you are the client, here’s a suggestion.

If you’re asked to test and submit changes, do that.  Say – I’ve worked through the app and here is a list of changes I’d like.  You can even list them by priority, or by – needs and wants.

If you think you have to give praise – say – thanks for all the work, I think we’re almost there, here are some final things…

Ok, I’m good now, got some changes to make.

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