Roles and Responsibilities of Web Teams

Roles and Responsibilities of Web Teams

Last Edited April 17, 2018 by Garenne Bigby in Business

Web teams are made up of a diverse group of people who all contribute their skills in multiple avenues. Each person has a different role that combines with the others to work toward a common goal.  The goal of a web team is generally to bridge the gap between innovative and new digital products with unfamiliar audiences. Before any products or digital services can be offered, the web team must make edits and check for quality.

Though digital, web content is still maintained by people. And with the technology developing at fast speeds, it’s necessary to build a team that is well-versed and knowledgeable. Unfortunately, there has been a gap created between the required skill and those who can actually complete them. This means that multiple team members might be needed to address an issue. Using members in more than one role can also cause complications when it comes to giving credit for an action or trying to keep track of who did what. But by having clear guidelines for what responsibilities are assigned to which role, confusion can be avoided, and productivity can continue.

Rather than trying to work on other aspects of a project, team members can focus on being the best in their area of responsibility. Knowing what each role requires means that team members can be trained on the specifics of their position rather than just given general knowledge. And given what specific functions some roles require, the associated responsibilities can lead to long-term security. New team members might mean a disruption of not just a particular part of the project but the entire group.

By exploring and understanding the roles of a web team individually, the strengths and weaknesses can be capitalized and developed on.

The Web Team

Web Teams

When referring to the web team, this is the collection of workers who are brought together in order to create digital-based content. Within that team, there can be a number of roles. The number is varied and could actually change depending on the task given to the team. In a company, a web team is the subsector responsible for handling all digital material as it directly relates to the company’s objectives and business. This means they are responsible for having the right tools, skilled people, regulation and technology necessary to be a fully functioning and possibly independent unit.

For some web teams, they are also tasked with dividing their budget in the most efficient way possible, accounting for both the cost of people and necessary tech. Web teams must also verify that their documents are in order and their work can be tracked. Through combining team members, objectives can be met and projects completed. Members of the team should be made aware of what they will be held accountable for completing or reporting. This is not just for the sake of productivity. Having clearly defined parameters also limits the chances of team members going outside of their boundaries and working on their coworker’s tasks.

These boundaries are needed in order to keep the team morale high and professional. Though they work closely, teammates are still at risk of arguing feeling as if their role is being encroached upon. Sometimes, however, these boundaries have to be blurred for the bigger picture. For example, depending on budget allowances, a teammate might have to share the burden with another person or carry the load until another person is hired.

This is actually fairly common and as such, most web teams will have some general responsibilities tied with each of the different job titles. This can cause roles to shift but the team should be grounded in individual foundational skills. A graphic designer can be tasked with handling customer feedback but should be more than proficient in the design work that makes up the primary responsibility of that position.


Lead Designer

When it comes to web teams, a lead designer is someone who is capable of performing in various roles of design and is not limited by tools or media. The disciplines involved in being a web lead designer include UI/UX developing, visual and graphic design, interactive design and information structuring. Though they feature different methods and serve different purposes, these groups still fall under the umbrella of design. Working with the web manager (and other team members), the lead designer provides support and material to meet the manager’s objective. One thing that designers must be careful of is trying to utilize all of the digital design elements at once.

As new technologies and trends happen quickly in the digital sphere, designers are very likely to want to create something that reflects their ability to be contemporary and modern. Unfortunately, this can lead to cluttered and over-designed websites that are not user-friendly and thus lack functionality. Being a specialized lead designer means being able to create material that combines some of the best aspects of a web team. There is an element of being selective like an editor but also flexible like a developer. This is another example of how versatile web team members can be. But specialization also means that it might be necessary for a lead designer to seek out assistant designers or use teammates with similar skills.


Lead Developer

Though it’s a higher position than some other team members, the lead developer must still report to those of a higher rank (usually the web management head) while still leading lower-ranked developers and technical staff members. This role is diverse because of what it entails and what must be produced under the guidance of the developer. One of the main functions of a lead developer is to set the standard for which all the coding will be written. They must be knowledgeable of the analytics required and understand core digital development principles like digital infrastructure, web design, and user engagement.

User engagement in this capacity is different than it is for the social media team member. This role is more behind the scenes and governs the tools and services that users have access to rather than having direct client engagement.  As a lead developer, it’s also necessary to be aware of developing web trends. Knowing how to apply the new technology can be both innovative and get great results.


Assistant Developer

An assistant developer works under the lead developer and is a key player in helping projects move toward completion. Though it seems specific, this title is actually still fairly vague. A web developer is generally someone who writes the code for the digital content we see online. This can be anything from articles to games to the actual website landing pages. The point is that developers must be versatile in their skillset. An assistant developer would have some of the skills from a variety of developer subclasses. These would include graphic design, front end and back end development and also being able to write in a variety of computer languages from HTML to JSP.

It is imperative that an assistant designer know multiple script languages, especially those that their lead developer knows. This makes collaboration easier and also helps expedite projects.  Depending on the scale of the project or site, it might be necessary to have multiple assistant developers in order to work on multiple areas simultaneously. Conversely, if it is a smaller scaled project, less standalone assistant developer positions might exist. In these cases, other roles pick up some of the objectives of the designer.  


Web Manager

The web manager can be thought of as the general manager of the web team and the last point of contact before the more corporate roles. They oversee all of the other departments on the web team and because of this will have some general knowledge on how to work the majority of them. There might be a variation of what this position is called (like Web Product Manager or Webmaster) but the purpose remains the same: ensure quality content and functionality of the web content and lead a successful web team.  

The web manager is responsible for the delegation of duties among the team and because of this carries a great deal of responsibility depending on how the team performs. One of the goals of most web managers is to ensure that on a daily basis, all of the web components (sites, customer care options, payment acceptance, etc.) are all functioning at the most basic acceptable levels. Like managers in other industries, they are driven by getting positive results regarding feedback, increased monetary profits and cost reduction and also, high employee performance.


Content Producer

Regardless of what media is being consumed online, there has to be someone to create it. Someone has to write the articles or lead the podcasts. These people are content producers or creators. In addition the basic aspect of creating digital content, they must make sure that it is: engaging for the viewership, of a high quality and consistent in terms of posting schedule and subject matter. Regarding the subject matter, it is not unusual for content producers to explore different themes or topics in their work but it is generally more successful if they carry a common thread throughout the material.

Content producers must also design and execute a strategy to make the best use of their preferred outlet. For instance, sharing pictures on Instagram would require using the most appropriate and popular hashtags in order to get maximum exposure. There is also an external component to being a content producer. They are not required to be the originator for all of the content being used by the web team. Their objective leans more toward having material to share than the actual act of creating.

To that end, they must be capable of researching and outsourcing for certain topics. This means being aware of trends, developing stories, rising celebrities both on and offline and following through with the necessary legal procedures for contracts and nondisclosure agreements. When outsourcing, they may also perform as an editor as they help with the development of content by an outside party.  However, for even more verification there is at least one position above content producer that further verifies content before publishing it.


Senior Editor

When content is being produced, quality control is a necessary step. Like visual and literary art, sometimes the creators can be too close to the work to notice any of the errors. There might also be some confusion or poor wording outside of the creator’s mind. To ensure that the content is marketable and ready for the public, editors are needed. But a senior editor does more than just proofreading or fact-checking established work. They are also capable of assisting with the development of new content.

Reporting directly to the webmaster means that there is at least one more set of eyes that can check for quality. The editor must make sure that the content is capable of speaking for itself but in a clear manner. They are required to monitor how digital content develops and also be aware of how to make positive corrections. These corrections must not be entirely personal but geared more towards meeting the needs of the online audience. Accuracy is the main component of this role, and they must have excellent levels of communication in multiple forms.


Social Media and Public Relations Coordinator

In this day and age, social media plays a massive role in how companies interact with their customers. The days of leaving comment cards in restaurants that would likely be unseen by the company’s higher-ups have now evolved into having almost direct access to owners. For smaller businesses, it is actually possible to connect with their local audience using social media. Social networking can be a massive step toward building or hurting brand development. A social media coordinator on a web team would need to have collaborative attitude in order to best use the other functions of the team to help create a clear connection between users and the website.

It should be noted that while this is the overall goal of a web team, for the social media coordinator, it is far more concentrate. User interface designers use research and prototype feedback to develop the products being offered by the team. However, a social media coordinator would use the actual feedback from non-test group users. The casual interaction of a user wanting to cite either a bad or good experience would be handled by the social media coordinator. In a way, these public relations managers are like waiters who would bring customer complaints or praise to the chef.

Outside of direct customer or client interaction, social media coordinators must be vigilant in monitoring the reputation of the brand as a whole. They need to be aware of the general public feeling about the projects the web team is developing in and must know how to manage poor publicity. These days, when a single tweet can cost a company millions of real money, social media coordinators have to be able to diffuse any negative situations and help find solutions. This is one of the more people-focused roles on a web team.  


eMarketing Coordinator

Marketing is an outlier function for many businesses. It is a needed department for managing how potential customers are introduced to products and service. As part of a web team, a digital (or e-marketing) coordinator translates previously established marketing content (being print or video commercials) for the web. This role could also involve large amounts of research and development. As this is a management role, the coordinator would also have the task of delegating responsibilities among the staff.


Conclusion

Having a strong team is like having a well-oiled machine. When all the parts are in top working order, the possibility of being strong and successful gets closer. Having a web team is like having an extended group project. While the end result might differ, the overall objective remains the same; being able to function as a team.  This is a constant factor regarding team-driven results and success. Even when new members are added or senior members move to other companies, it is still necessary to have a strong set of guidelines to dictate what the members used to do and what is expected of them.

Like most other areas of life, being thrown into a new situation without knowing what you can or cannot do can be extremely stressful. Dismissing certain team roles as not important can be detrimental. It is also necessary for team members to receive proper acknowledgement for their contributions to the team. Just because they may work behind the scenes on a project does not exclude them from being vital members and privy to celebration.

As web teams and other digital workers becomes a more professionally recognized field, more contributions from the analysts, developers and designers will be awarded. Knowing how to handle the different responsibilities of the team can be an asset, but team members should also be trained and capable in their designated positions as that will be more beneficial to the team succeeding as a whole.

 

Garenne Bigby
Author: Garenne BigbyWebsite: http://garennebigby.com
Founder @dynomapper
Garenne Bigby is freelance Chicago developer and founder of DYNO Mapper with over 10 years experience in both agency and freelance roles in design, development, user experience, SEO, and information architecture.

Back

Create Visual Sitemaps

Create, edit, customize, and share visual sitemaps integrated with Google Analytics for easy discovery, planning, and collaboration.

Popular Tags

Search Engine Optimization SEO Create Sitemaps Accessibility Testing Sitemaps UX User Experience Sitemap Generator Content Audit Website Content Audit
Create Interactive Visual Sitemaps

Discovery has never been easier.

Sign up today!