A couple of years ago, AloeRoot engaged with a new client who needed monthly site updates that required ten hours to complete. Within a couple of months I managed to refine the workflow enough to turn a ten-hour task into a job that now takes one hour and twenty minutes. How?
We Refined the Code – if your website’s programming layer hasn’t changed in years, or if it was originally designed using a program like FrontPage or MS Word, there’s likely to be a lot of hard-to-read junk HTML that doesn’t need to be there and will slow down anyone who tries to work with it. We tore down this site’s programming layer and rebuilt the code for easier reading. This process is invisible to the customer and the end user, but we estimate that it took three hours off the monthly update time. That’s 36 saved hours per year.
We Changed the Layout – some of the sections of the old site had a design that seemed too elaborate, made it hard for the reader to scan the page for key points, and made it very difficult for anyone using assistive technology to make sense out of the page content. After consulting with the client, we scrapped the complicated structure in favour of something simple, which cleared the way for the key message and took more time off the total.
Automation and Innovation – this job requires us to process 50-60 images and format them for the web each month. We created a naming system for the files to make it quicker to replace old copies with new ones, and used a gamer’s speed pad (usually used to automate complex jobs when playing video games) to automate the task of resizing and saving the batch of images. The speed pad is also very handy for copying and pasting large amounts of data and adding HTML formatting – we can do with one click tasks that would normally take 5 or 6 keystrokes. This doesn’t seem significant, but combined with our other changes it allowed us to condense this job from 600 to 80 minutes.
Interested in streamlining your website workflow and saving some money? We’d love to hear from you.