Digital teams are busy. They always nearly have a pressing backlog of things to get done, but rarely have either the spare hours or access to the additional resources that would reduce their “to do” list. This is especially an issue in sectors where budgets are tight and teams are generally small, for example in higher education, not for profits or local government. Additional resources and time are precious here, and digital teams cannot afford to waste time or money.
However, wasting time and money is something we repeatedly see digital teams do. Most digital teams are well run and have the right objectives, but sometimes they focus on the wrong process or approach. Here are four ways in which digital teams waste time and money instead of working smarter and avoiding unnecessary costs.
One thing that digital teams like to invest in are digital compliance and improvement products that assess pages for issues and then send you a report with the corrections that need to be made. One critical mistake that teams make is to regularly assess the whole of their website (and possibly other sites), generating an enormous report with an unwieldy list of changes to make.
Unfortunately, this approach wastes a great deal of time because it takes so long to assess the list and prioritise what needs to be done that it is perfectly possible for nothingto get fixed before the next report is published! It can also lead to more work, because a common issue reported across multiple pages may only really need one simple fix on your CSS.
Having a huge list also is off-putting; when it feels like a mountain to climb people are less likely to tackle an issue. Clients find the Sitemorse approach, with only important or targeted pages assessed and prioritised fixes highlighted, makes compliance and digital improvement far more achievable. More actually gets done.
Another major problem with testing the whole site is then having to let individual team members and content owners know what they need to do. Even if you’re a small team this can be very time-consuming. This likely involves writing emails, chasing up individuals, perhaps doing some handholding and explaining how to carry out a fix, and then repeating the process when the next report comes in! In fact, being the ‘middle’ man or woman and acting as co-ordinator, enforcer and trainer to drive website compliance wastes more time than any other activity.
An automated approach is better, reducing the need for the digital manager to be that energy-zapping person in the middle. For example, Sitemorse sends automated emails to the right people appropriate to their experience (e.g. for example a developer) to fix each issue with a short training video to explain what needs to be done. It’s a straightforward approach that saves incredible amounts of time, as well as hassle.
Accessibility awareness is very important; all employees need to know about it. Accessibility compliance with the WCAG 2.1 guidelines is also critical, but how to achieve it can be quite detailed and fiddly and not all organisations have the in-house knowledge to be able to make it happen.
Therefore, sending your entire digital team on accessibility compliance training may be a logical thing to do, but it canbe expensive and is not necessarily the best way to make your website compliant.
Often digital marketing professionals receive their training but unless they are putting what they have learnt into action immediately after the training, much of the knowledge is forgotten and lost. We’ve found that our just-in-time training where teams learn about accessibility compliance in bite-sized training videos and then immediately put learning into practice by solving an issue, is an excellent way to upskill and truly embed accessibility knowledge across your team. It’s more effective, less time consuming and much cheaper than traditional training.
Digital compliance in areas such as accessibility are often treated as a specific initiative, perhaps as part of a project to refresh a website, or as a push in response to a new regulation. Once the site is judged as “compliant”, the project is considered over and everybody goes back to what they did before. This is a mistake because a year later you will probably find yourself in the same boat again; you then waste significant time and resources reviewing all your pages againand making all the fixes.
It is far better to treat compliance as a continual process, especially after you have launched a new website or worked hard to get to a state of compliance. Investing in an assessment product to spot compliance issues as they happen, or even before new content is published, is a cheaper and far less risky option to stay compliant, yet so many teams fail to do this. It also builds on your previous investment in your site and helps you to continually improve.
We know how important resources are for digital teams. Time and money are precious. Thinking about how you carry out certain processes and approaching things differently can make a real difference. If you’d like to discuss how Sitemorse can help your team work more efficiently then get in touch.