Technobabble versus the rebranding process

Website overhauls often cause a rousing and lively discussion leading to long meetings, lists of lists to be collected, strategic decision-maker input, and sometimes even talking to the end users about the site. And it seems inevitable that all of these goals and ideas need to be wrapped in a cleaner and newer interface design with a dash of the latest marketing trends. And it has to be better than your competitors (or other departments). Then the technology questions hit. Ever changing languages, applications and security concerns require knowledge of the latest terminology and an understanding and skill that are impractical requirements for the majority of users and decision-makers in this process. These people simply need to find information or get a job done. Furthermore, most technology implementers are woefully unskilled in translating technical jargon and information to anything resembling modern business parlance. Combine all of these needs and communication breakdowns, and it's suddenly much easier to realize why web refresh projects, large or small, bog down. Thus, the requirements laid forth in a business meeting aren't always found in the final digital project. Thus, the artistic layout created by an external party (typically disconnected from the rest of the process) can not be applied to the chosen technology infrastructure in the manner it was designed. And, in the end, the content stays confusing, the navigation isn't clear, and users still jump out to use Google to find pages on your site instead. If this situation sounds familiar, it's because most people involved in any marketing or general web redesign project have seen these issues time and again. This most happens when the process is purely internal and led by a few people with a specific agenda to address their personal needs. This unknowingly overlook concerns or people who need to be involved--people and issues which someone outside the organization could instantly recognize as crucial to the process. The only way around this impasse is to bring key people from all groups involved early in the process together and discover whether the core working group is capable of communicating clearly. Business, marketing, design and technology can work together. But each role unconsciously assumes the others have an understanding of their operations and only certain details need to be remarked upon. In reality, a much more robust information sharing needs to happen. Technologists are often the worst in this respect, and many in our field must work hard to overcome this deficit. And if the internal project group can't do that, punt early and bring in outside help.