I was probably about 11 years old dialing up a BBS “bulletin board system” back in 1993 patiently waiting for my 9600 BPS modem to connect so I could begin my journey that led to my career I have today.
I knew I loved computers the minute I started using them at a young age. I felt they were black boxes of unknown goodness that opened up worlds that only certain people with some “secret knowledge” knew how to access.
I knew my future was going to involve technology since I was a Freshman in High School. After high school, I figured out that there were two paths, network engineering or programming that was offered at my University so I decided to take another route and go to an Art school in Seattle and major in Web Design and Multimedia, little did I know it was the perfect fit.
I started learning HTML and CSS, programmed in Macromedia Director and got my first internship at a start-up that of course was a dot bomb (we all had to experience that right!?). After that .bomb I decided I should finish my degree and get into the real world. I finished my degree, 9/11 happened and I moved down South to San Diego, California.
I started out as a Front End Developer and slowly learned Classic ASP and realized soon enough I hit another brick wall as I had when I was majoring in Computer Science at the University, I wanted to be technical, I wanted to be artistic, organized and methodical but I couldn’t code for hours at a time and without wanting to constantly sharpen my pencil and poke my eyeballs out, it was time for a change!
For some fortunate reason I ended up getting a job as a project manager at a web design studio and this is where I found my niche. I got to work with the designer, work with the programmers but also help organize the project and ensure it stays on track! It was perfect, all of my obsessive compulsive disorders could be put to good use!
Why am I reading this?
So now you probably are like why am I reading this article about some digital producer on The FWA website? Well if you are the lucky person to have kept your attention this far down the page you might as well keep reading because it gets good, yes it does.
Creating a great website...
So in my mind it takes a trifecta of three amazing types of resources to create a great website.. a great designer, a rockstar programmer and the obsessive compulsive digital producer (me or you maybe!) to keep everything from going off the rails.
A lot of small web studios end up taking on project management or digital producing (the term is thrown around like a cheap brand) themselves as a hope to save a few dollars but in the end the poor owner ends up losing many nights of sleep, quality of other areas of the product is lost and the client generally isn’t happy and the term “Phase 2” is thrown out because not all of the original client requests were made for launch!
Hmmmm.. well that’s not good, as an owner your reputation is on the line not only with your product but you as a person that has to face these clients because as you are probably starting out small and these people have been brought to you by referrals, aka friends and family!
The situation isn’t good and this “will never happen again”, you tell yourself. So what's the solution? Hire a digital producer and save yourself with a good nights sleep and ensured confidence your project will run smoothly.. or will it?
The A Team...
There’s a lot more than the obsessive compulsive producer to make the project go smoothly. You still need your A team and some light methodology. Light methodology? Just as much as you know how to apply a filter in Photoshop, name your layers correctly or ensure the right framework is used in your code a light methodology to your project will make it kick ass. I call it the 4’D’s.. it’s out there already I didn’t invent it. I just have taken it to the next level and instilled it into every project I do and I love to discuss it as a topic because it really works.
The Four Ds
The Four Ds are Define, Design, Develop and Deploy. Without these your project will fail, well no but you are more than likely going to have more than one launch and countless revisions and more coffee than you probably needed.
Over the next 5 articles I’m going to break down each phase and then finally tie it up all together with a few interviews with the pros on FWA and their experience having it work on their projects.
Read the second article: The Four Ds: Define
About the Author:
Natacha Gaymer-Jones is the Director of Production at HYFN located in Hermosa Beach, California. She currently lives in West Hollywood, California and enjoys leading her team at HYFN in producing some of the best websites launching in 2013 and 2014. She also enjoys taking her weekly spin classes at Flywheel!
Her most recent website launch that she personally produced is the Volvo 3 Million Reasons Campaign. http://www.3millionreasons.com
You can email her directly at HYFN firstname.lastname@example.org