Tepasse Consult is a consulting firm from Germany. In 2016, when I worked on the project, the company had already been well-established and its experts widely recognized in the field. However, it wasn’t 1998 anymore and the company needed a website, that would present them as well as showcase their work. I was approached to tackle this job and within a few weeks (quite painful weeks, read on), I designed and developed the website. It is based on WordPress CMS. It was one of the first real website projects that I put my hands on and additionally as a small challenge, its content had to be written in German.
Development & Design
The main aim was to create a website, that would professionally represent the firm’s longtime experience and successes. The website’s goal wasn’t supposed to necessarily draw in more clients from the search or include a landing page. Here is a practical example of the project’s idea: the consultants meet with a person interested in doing business with them and naturally, they exchange business cards. When the potential customer later checks on Tepasse Consult, they open up Google and try to get more information about the company. Finding the website, they know it’s no fraud and assures them, that the firm is a real professional business.
Here comes the more interesting part. As I have already pointed out above, the project was a bit of a painful experience. Not because its content was in German (I am not a native speaker, but I could handle the language quite well), but because of the terrible communication with involved parties. As I have also mentioned, it was one of my first projects of this kind and due to lack of experience and knowledge, the following happened.
The project was actually assigned to me by another customer, whose position was a middleman between the client (Tepasse Consult) and me (the developer). Thus, the entire communication went through this middleman. Due to inexperience in this kind of project, basically on all three sides, there was a lot of misunderstanding and unpleasant surprises. Back then, I didn’t use any sketches or wireframes with a design proposition, because the customer said, that the client won’t really care about the final look of the website: “Just make it look professional and it will be alright.”. The client did care about the design and it wasn’t alright. Or when I finally deployed the site, I explicitly told the customer to tell the client not to manipulate the website without me giving instructions on operating it first. The message didn’t get through and two days later, the client complained that the website’s design had been corrupted. I checked the log files and figured out, it was him who screwed it up… To make it short, the project took way longer and took more resources on all sides, than it was primarily estimated. Eventually, every one of us was relieved, that its over – the result was great, but at what cost… Since then, I always create sketches and wireframes and I demand to work closely with the client as much as it is possible. However, it was a great lesson for me and made me like a 124% better designer and developer than I had been before.
And yeah, if you wonder why I refer to the website here using my subdomain (http://www.tepasse.janondruch.com/), it’s because the client tried some “ninja-kung-fu-sh*t” again and corrupted his urls by trying to switch hosting providers on his own (I presume). It’s good to remember this: You can care only as much as the client cares.