The truth about quality - it is subjective, contextual and largely hidden!
As a web designer and developer, I have built a business that has a core focus on delivering "quality" work. The problem is... quality means entirely different things to different people.
- Quality has many different aspects - performance, clarity, maintainability, robustness, accuracy, security, and more. It's not as simple as "it looks good".
- Quality is contextual, in that it means different things to different projects, e.g., long term maintainability is irrelevant to a short-lived campaign landing page.
- A lot of what determines quality is hidden from the client; the client isn’t going to understand or appreciate clever programming techniques, they only ever see the end result.
- The results of poor quality work may not often be apparent until some years down the track.
- Not all qualitative efforts carry the same cost. Some simple quality controls can impart huge benefits, whereas some complex quality controls make little difference.
- Best practices are constantly evolving, and what was considered quality three years ago may be completely different today.
So how are you supposed to deliver quality if you can't even settle on a universal understanding of what it IS? Experience and process. I've got 15 years experience developing web projects in a commercial setting, and more than that still as a programmer and system administrator. When I first started out, Google didn't exist! But the glue that holds all this together is process, both in terms of project management and also the devops toolchain. Here at Assembler, every single line of code that ever touches a client's website has been reviewed to ensure that it's correct, that it is secure and that it is compliant with our standards and best practices. We deliver quality by making sure our t's are crossed and our i's are dotted.
Assembler is a web design agency based in Perth, Western Australia. This blog is intended to be an informal, behind the scenes look into the web design and development industry. If you like our content, please follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook!