Friday, November 16, 2012

Who knows how to wrangle huge web projects?

For the past few months, I've been working on a website overhaul for one of the world's biggest organizations. Our team is going section by section, incising out old stuff and replacing it with shiny new everything, from the overarching strategy to the gritty SEO details. It's like being the surgical team behind the Six Million Dollar Man. Except the end goal isn't to fix him, make him faster, better, whatever. It's to replace him entirely.

And damn, it's hard. Understanding our clients' services and technology is plenty tough, but communicating it simply and powerfully is devilishly difficult. But that's just one element of many, some of which can make content development seem like easy-peasy typing. UX, strategy, programming, creative, project management--we've all shed blood, sweat, and tears trying to wrangle this beast.

I'm not easy-peasy typing to complain. No, I'm looking to improve my web wrangling chops. All I've had to go on is a dated Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites and a few projects under my belt. So I went looking for expert insight on the subject.

But so far, all I've found is either ironclad processes for uninspired sites or bubblegum-and-twine tales full of quibbling and near death experiences before, miraculously, limping to victory. Just this morning, my wife sent me a great example of the latter, an Atlantic article on the tech and digital teams behind Obama's campaign.

Maybe wrangling is hard no matter what, and that's just the way it is. But if you happen to know some shortcuts, please let me know.



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