Identifying the client
Define who your client is.
Who is the client?
The client for whom a Web site is developed often consists of several components (individuals, groups, or interests). As a whole, these
various client components are called the composite client.
The client is composed of many individuals. For example, a Web site may be requested by the human resources (HR) department of a large bank.
Yet there may be several components of the composite client, including members of the HR department, other bank employees who will use the
site, vendors for the HR department, contractors who work off site, bank management, and applicants for employment at the bank.
One individual often represents the composite client. But you should remember that the representative is not the only client. If the client does
not have a methodology for assessing the needs of all the interests it represents, you may want to assist it.
The individual or group that represents the varied client interests to the Web development team is called the surrogate client.
The surrogate client usually acts as the Web development team's primary contact. The composite client may include the following:
Stakeholders (individuals or groups with a non-financial stake in the project)
Audience end users (for example, customers, internal employees)
Decision makers (for example, client corporate directors, marketing vice president, product evangelist)
- Contract managers
- Stockholders (individuals or groups with a financial stake in the project)
- Community (for example, local people affected or served by the organization)
Question: What is the relationship between the surrogate client and the composite client?
Answer: The composite client includes everyone who will use the site at some point.
The surrogate client is the member of the client group who speaks for all those people and deals directly with the Web development team.
It is important for the Web team to assess periodically whether the surrogate client is keeping the interests of all the end users in mind,
and not guide the development of the Web site purely on the basis of what it personally wants to see be produced.
The next lesson is the module conclusion.