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Tick box publishing

The constant pressure to make improvements to your digital offering can lead to hasty sign-off of projects.

By James Evelegh

Tick box publishing
Photograph: Franck on Unsplash.

How are you doing with that ‘to do’ list? Responsive design, tick. Digital edition, tick. Pay / data wall, tick. Newsletter sign-up page, tick. Related content panel, tick.

You get the picture.

The list of things a publisher needs to make sure are included on their site or app is long and it’s all too easy to adopt a tick-box approach.

Get it done, tick it off, move onto the next thing.

I know I’ve been guilty of that.

Sadly, it’s not the right approach and leads publishers to signing off on things that don’t work as well as they should, resulting in under-performance and time wasted further down the line as they’re forced to revisit the whole thing.

By all means have a ‘to-do’ list but beware ticking anything off until it satisfies the following criteria:

  1. Does it meet the brief?
  2. Has it been properly tested across devices and browsers?
  3. Has it been user-tested? Somebody outside the project team needs to give the new functionality a full workout, with a mission to find fault.
  4. Have you defined what success will look like? KPIs need to be established that will allow you to judge the success (or not) of the new feature.
  5. Have you put a performance-review date in the diary?

A job can only be ticked off when it has been fully optimised and shown to work as intended. Up until then, it should remain on your ever-growing ‘to do’ list.


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