Web development is a broad term for the work involved in developing a web site for the Internet (World Wide Web) or an intranet (a private network). This can include web design, web content development, client liaison, client-side/server-side scripting, web server and network security configuration, and e-commerce development. However, among web professionals, “web development” usually refers to the main non-design aspects of building web sites: writing markup and coding. Web development can range from developing the simplest static single page of plain text to the most complex web-based internet applications, electronic businesses, or social network services.
For larger organizations and businesses, web development teams can consist of hundreds of people (web developers). Smaller organizations may only require a single permanent or contracting webmaster, or secondary assignment to related job positions such as a graphic designer and/or information systems technician. Web development may be a collaborative effort between departments rather than the domain of a designated department.
Project responsibilities and roles are different between jobs. Some jobs may only take five days or less. Moreover, large projects may take several months to complete. There are many decisions a web design team must make to complete the common objective and out-comes the client is looking for. It is the team’s responsibility to meet these goals and objectives in a timely manner through communication.
A web design team must communicate design concepts and client specifications. Effective communication will be the end result of the final project. Good communication with the client and the team will results in overall quality outcomes. Furthermore, poor communication will have team members frustrated and a client that does not want to pay for poor print or web design. Web design teams must establish roles to be effective.
Project Manager (management), “The application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements.” (Pinto, J., 2007, p. 483) Web design project manager’s important roles include meeting a stated goal, scheduling, using resources wisely, setting goals, and focusing on customer objectives. A project manager focuses on a project life cycle which includes four stages; “Conceptualization, refers to the development of the initial goal and technical specifications for a project. Planning, is the stage in which all detailed specifications, schematics, schedules, and other plans are developed. Execution, the actual work of the project is performed, the system developed, or the product created and fabricated. Termination, occurs when the completed project is transferred to the customer.” (Pinto, J., 2007, p. 11)
Staff designers or sometimes called a Junior designer, work on magazine design, draw maps, support production, and do general studio tasks. A minimum of two years experience is needed and a BA in graphic design. Programs include Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Staff designers report to Senior designers, how are more responsible to identify concepts in Adobe Illustrator and images in Photoshop. However, this position is not considered a management position.
A senior designer may have around five to seven years experience and have knowledge in company design programs and platforms. The Art Director is in charge of both staff designers and senior designers in the web design team. “In small firms, and art director may work hands-on with projects and be the person solely responsible for creative output. In a large firm or in-house creative department, an art director may have designers report to them and work in tandem with a copywriter.” (DeSetto, J., 2009, p. 56) Art directors are responsible for the overall quality of media, graphics, or web design of business to business project. The art director communicates with web design team about client expectations and budget. The person in this position holds excellent interpersonal and communication skills, presentation skills, and they are a professional leader with five to seven years of on the job experience. The art director and creative director go hand and hand with responsibilities and tasks. Dependant upon the firm they are both important and report to the project manager. Lastly, freelance specialist can bring new projects to the table or do specialized work in any given area of expertise. Most specialist have specific skills in Adobe, flash, or Photoshop. These skills are used in web design projects that need an extra focus that is unique to the clients needs or wants.
The main reason why this small group functions so well is meeting with a common purpose and sense of belonging. Web design teams have one purpose and that is to meet client expectations. Web design teams are successful because of the small group dynamics and meeting small sizable goals to compete the overall objective. A team, “is a coordinated group of individuals organized to work together to achieve a specific, common goal.” (Beebe, S., & Masterson, 2009, p. 6) A web design team has clear goals and objectives that are well defined. Meeting client deadlines and creating quality work, motivates web design teams to do their best work using their knowledge and skill set to complete print and web-based design. Moreover, communication in this team setting is by far the most important aspect to complete projects. A web design team has to be aware of client demands and project outcomes. Thus, team leadership, duties, tasks, roles, and communication must be developed within a web design company.