Yesterday, I came across an article on one of my favorite newsletters (Tech Cabal) that stirred some emotions in me. The article titled 5 Ways Kenyan Developers and Tailors Behave the Same Way was published on Techweez by Saruni Maina. Granted, the article bore quite a lot of truth, but that’s no reason for Kenyan website developers to sit back and hope something will happen to improve the situation. Hope is not a strategy my friends.
So let’s try to develop a solution, shall we?
As you read this, any Kenyan website development company worth it’s salt is probably juggling a bunch of clients, with a stack of different requirements, and unknown length of time to implement. And we agree, just like tailors, it can get difficult to schedule out projects and meet deadlines, especially when you don’t know when one is going to be finished so you can start the next one.
What’s worse, web development companies need to keep hustling to get more work even though some projects take longer than planned and the old clients are coming back with little changes they want done.
How Can Kenyan Website Developers Deliver Projects on Time?
We need to rethink the information gathering or discovery phase. Why? Currently, we are spending a lot of time gathering information to identify all the possible pitfalls of a project, which is probably about half the actual work of a project—and charging huge up-front costs even before the client can see anything. What’s more, we are speculating of variables in developing and designing a website for a specific target group, and many of them are not discovered until the project is well underway.
If you have been developing websites in Kenya for the last 10 years, you will agree with the me that websites take forever to launch because the client keeps changing their mind. Perhaps they didn’t define their requirements clearly at the start of the project, or the requirements need to change for business reasons they hadn’t anticipated earlier. Either way, the client will insist the changes be made and in most cases, will want the changes to be made under the same budget which is impossible. This is where things get salty; the customer is unhappy because they’re paying more, and the project is late. The developer is unhappy about having to stop what he’s doing and talk business.
A possible solution here would be to ask the client what they want the website to do (boost awareness, generate leads), not how they want the website to look ( specifications/requirements). Using this information, you can help your client identify goals and rank them in order of priority. Rather than having requirements and specs set on stone, we can start with a minimum viable product, a pre-configured Drupal installation file, or even a customized theme template and launch the website fast, improving it as we get more feedback from the users- the target audience.
Also, if you put yourself in your client’s shoe, what gives more value? A website sitting on a test server hidden away from the public for 3 months, or a simple yet functional website launched in 2 weeks and is attracting visitors to give feedback on where improvements need to be made? What’s more, since the website is launched faster and improvements are made over time, the investment is spread over time and the launch is still done on time.
Kenyan Developers, Let’s Change The Way We Approach Website Design
Our goal as Kenyan website developers is to create functional websites that give positive ROI year over year. To achieve this, we’ll need to change the way we approach website design in Kenya. I think it’s time to embrace growth-driven design , a website design concept based on using data to improve the design month over month. Sure, the cost of changing our processes might be significant but so are the benefits. Better yet, there’s a FREE course on Hubspot where you can learn all about growth driven website design. So there’s nothing holding us back.
In closing, I would like to appreciate Saruni Maina for the article. Calling out on Kenyan website developers and their ‘tailorish’ tendencies has given us the strength to make a leap 🙂