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Lesson 4 Web Team Interaction
Objective Members of a web design team

Members of Web Design Team

To help you conceptualize the members of a Web design team, the following company map provides a virtual tour of WebTeam, a Web design company. Click a desk on the map to explore the workstation of a WebTeam member. These roles and job categories focus on tasks rather than specific job titles. These are broad categories, however, and responsibility areas vary from company to company and project to project. Depending on the organization and the project, additional roles may be involved They may include director of marketing, editor, quality assurance specialist, media designer, or vice president of sales.

Web Teams and Tasks

The concept of teams in the workplace is not new. However, only recently have teams been used to develop Web projects. In earlier Web development models, one person was often responsible for the development of an entire Web project. A common reason for the one-person Web department was the lack of common knowledge about Web technology. In addition to the limited knowledge pool, management often displayed uncertainty and a lack of commitment to allocate resources to Web development.
This situation has changed. Organizations worldwide know the need for Web-enabling technologies. Design and engineering teams are now regularly used for Web projects. Depending on the phase of development in a Web project, various skill sets are needed on a team. For example, marketing and writing professionals are more likely to be involved in Web development during the early phases, when the site's message is being crafted. When this work is done, Web designers, programmers and people with other technical skills will implement various components of the site. The team approach to Web development is critical to create a well-rounded design and a functional Web site.

The Composition and Nature of Web teams

In print or software design, the members of a team may be the same over the course of many projects. In Web development, however, the team's composition often fluctuates from one project to the next, depending on the skills required. Also, Web teams are frequently dispersed geographically. It is not uncommon for some members of a Web project team never to meet in person.
Although Web development projects vary, and one person may serve several roles, a Web project team will typically have people performing each of the following jobs:
  1. Project management: The project manager is involved with the project from start to finish. He or she is in charge of determining and documenting the requirements of a project, creating specifications for the project, assembling a team, and ensuring that the project stays on schedule and on budget.
  2. Information architecture: The information architect is responsible for translating customer requirements into a blueprint for site development. This may include planning the website's navigation and determining whether database integration is needed.
  3. Graphic design: The job of the graphic designer is to create a consistent and visually appealing look for a Web site. Graphic designers may also create Flash animations or design user interfaces for Web applications.
  4. Information technology: This group includes people with the more technical jobs involved in Web development, such as programmers, database administrators and networking professionals. The technologies these people enable in the site make it the interactive medium that it is.
  5. Marketing: Marketing professionals are responsible for developing the strategy for communicating a company's message, image and brand identity. As such, they are often involved in developing the site's look and feel, as well as its content.

Web Design is a Multidisciplinary Art

Question: Why do so many of us try and do everything ourselves?
Our nature as web designers tells us to build things. We have the capability to handle just about every role in a web design project. If we do not already have the expertise in a certain skill, then at least we have the self-motivation to teach ourselves and learn on the job. Is doing everything by yourself the right approach?
Absolutely not. When you look at the bigger picture, maybe it is not. For me, my goals are to build an impressive portfolio of work, land bigger and better clients, and grow my web design business. It is simply not feasible to achieve these goals by doing everything myself. The only way to achieve my objective is to build a web design team to help me with the required tasks.
The next lesson wraps up this review module.

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