I was reviewing the written feedback on an annotated site map I had produced for a website redesign. Throughout the document, my client–an international association–had written, “We need to discuss this internally.” This kind of feedback doesn’t help, I thought. I couldn’t update the site map and get it approved until the client team had their discussion. I felt a loss of momentum.
But then I realized that although my client’s comments didn’t constitute feedback on the site map, they were helpful to the project overall. The client team was signaling that they “got it.”
Some clients nod their heads in agreement when they look at a new site map or wireframe but balk later in the project, when it sinks in that this new way of organizing their content also entails new approaches to producing and managing content. This particular client realized the implications of the new site map. It wasn’t just a new navigation scheme. It represented a new way of working, and also a new way of thinking about their website and its role in the association’s strategy. They needed to discuss the implications and let them sink in.
My client’s close attention to the site map, and their internal discussions and decisions about it, were ultimately moving the project forward and helping make the new web site more successful in the long run.
So, go talk amongst yourselves. Your new web site will thank you.