Malvern Blog Series Part 5: Conference demos

Malvern instruments project

As you move on through the developmental stages of a project, conference calls and video conferencing become even more crucial.

Technology not only allows us to communicate across distances, but demonstrate features, give real-time explanations of certain site aspects, and ultimately enable us to increase our efficiency and accuracy. Prior to live-dates or future face-to-face meetings, we can have in-depth discussions and demonstrations with our clients about changes so that we can determine their exact needs. 

Half-demo conference calls become somewhat of a foundation for the later stages of the website build; the inevitable back and forth that goes with a project as large as Malvern can make visualisation more difficult, and confusion all the easier, but conference demos can alleviate all of this. They work for both parties too, and bring significant benefits to the project.

What they can do for us…

1) Visualisation
Having this as a tool at our disposal means we don’t just have to describe any challenges we’ve come across or new features we have developed, but we can physically show them to the customer. This helps us to build on our client relationship which is so important to the project, as we can demonstrate that we have fully understood their brief and increase their trust in us as developers.

One thing which was particularly imperative to the Malvern case was our provision of an in-depth yet easy-to-use search and filtering system, which is exactly what we delivered. As we were able to demonstrate it to them first-hand they could see that what we had created was as specified, but it is only by using this method that we are able to put across its simplicity. 

2) Understanding feedback
Even with emails, phone calls and the best of intentions, feedback can easily be misinterpreted when lines of communication are across distances. These online demonstrations rebuild those lines of communication and allow us to better understand client feedback on whatever issues may occur.

In the case of Malvern , their feedback surrounding the first demo of the checkout pages raised some interesting points about the layout and visual presentation to the reader; they still wanted it to be simplistic but more appealing to the user. We were able to take this feedback on board much better having received it in relation to a visual representation of the page, and after reviewing our subsequent changes to the page in a live demo, we were able to deliver a user experience tailored to their customers.

3) Clear confusion
Certain features are difficult to convey to the customer without the benefit of visual representation, so it’s a relief to be able to show these in depth to the customer in real-time, to avoid misunderstandings which otherwise could lead to a feature’s true purpose being disregarded. 

With Malvern , there was a little uncertainty over the marketing text surrounding their products which was required and certain page content. With the use of the conference demo, we were able to show them exactly how it would look on a page, how a customer would approach it, and find a solution which would benefit their customer base. We were also able to provide them with a view of the content elements which were currently missing, so they could complete those sections to the design restrictions.

What they can do for you…

1) You get to check that your brand is being maintained
For a client with such a huge reputation such as Malvern, retaining brand-continuity is critical. They wanted to expand their customer base, but they also keep their current one; making sure that the eCommerce element of their website matched up to the design and brand qualities of their main site was a top priority. With conference demos this is evident as soon as they click on the link. Malvern were delighted with the standard to which their brand had been maintained, and agreed that the continuity across sites was seamless.

2) You get to see how the site is supposed to work
It can be difficult to understand the technical aspects of the site build during the development stages, and this is the first time you will have a site to explore properly. Don’t waste the opportunity to really explore it, as it will provide a very valuable critique for the technical team. Between us we can correct every glitch, whether that be product data on your side or a change in our framework; not only do you get to see your site in its full glory, but you get to see it from a fresh perspective, just as a customer would on their first encounter. This kind of outlook is priceless.

3) You get to iron out any issues earlier on
The best part about it from the client perspective is the amount of time it saves you if you find any issues; for companies who don’t choose to use this method of project development, precious time can be squandered in copious amounts. If there is anything you find early on which you think needs consideration, you can pinpoint them immediately rather than waiting until the live date to find out all those little details which have been missed. Conference demos give you the opportunity to identify them early and remove hassle.

Conference demos can offer a lot of benefits to either party in a website development environment. They allow for a level of creativity and a dialogue to be generated which is very difficult to create with the restrictions of calls alone. With today’s easy-to-use technology in this area, this type of a step couldn’t be simpler, and it will give you a greater level of control as a client to develop your project alongside your developer and their team in a way that allows you to connect with them.

The project continues.

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