University of Magpie: The Dos and Don’ts of Delivering Websites

Every Thursday at 12.30pm it’s University of Magpie time in our Ideas Cafe. The team gathers round to have lunch and learn new skills from other team members and visiting speakers.

Now in its third year, our UoM programme runs January to December, ending with our graduation, where the team receive their training certificates.


Top tips for effective website design and development projects:

In this session Insight Manager Isabel shared her recent experience as a client, having been on the other side of the process, with a website built for her by an agency in Birmingham.

Isabel’s dos and dont’s for web projects:

Taking the brief


  • Meet face to face
  • Practice hospitality
  • Let the whole studio know that there will be a meeting with a client
  • See if you can have a designer / developer present at the initial meeting
  • Ask about priorities



  • Make false promises when it comes to the timeline
  • Assume you know the client and their market / audience
  • Finish the meeting without summarising your understanding of the brief and client
  • Let the client lead the meeting




  • Manage expectations
  • Get another designer / developer to double check you’ve done all the amends
  • Get the client on the phone
  • Meet face to face if possible for later stages of amends
  • Always give a deadline for when the client can expect the amends to be done



  • Assume you understand the amends
  • Go over deadlines without talking to the client


Project Management


  • Take charge of the project – the client partner should be the one pushing deadlines, chasing copy etc.
  • Provide handrails wherever possible – we know what we mean by copy, wireframe, amends, backend but they might not!
  • Exceed expectations and beat deadlines
  • Pick up the phone regularly



  • Make promises you can’t keep (including on behalf of a designer/developer)
  • Don’t expect a client to lead and steer a project – they will assume you are working on it 24/7 once the project starts
  • Leave the client to wonder whether they’ve done enough / done the right thing

The Finish


  • Check satisfaction at the close of a project
  • Do a guided handover so the client feels in control
  • Make it easy for the client to edit their website
  • Go the extra mile to finish on a high
  • Review the original brief with the client to agree that you’ve fulfilled it – especially their priority points


  • Expect the client to say what they need for a handover / tutorial
  • Close off the option of communication and support


Click here to find out more about our Digital services.