Scope Creep

Scope Creep is a situation where we commit time to a project and discover that The Client and/or Contracting Agency responsibilities and expectations are growing far beyond the initial requirements.

This can lead to additional stress, time and costs to Diginauts.

What is Scope Creep?

Scope Creep is a term used when the magnitude of a project exceeds, or creeps past, the boundaries of its original goals and objectives.

Characteristics of Scope Creep in Web Design

Scope creep has many different appearances for our design team. It is a result of The Client and/or Contracting Agency often wanting to add additional features to their original request as they have learned about them from colleagues or when they have visited other websites. Some of the common forms of scope creep include (not limited to these):

  • Fresh images on each site visit
  • Unlimited images, galleries and slideshows
  • Company Logo’s, Letterheads, Business, Cards and Flyers
  • Page counters
  • Web copy and content writing
  • Creating additional pages
  • Ongoing page alterations
  • Change of look and feel of website once completed
  • Blogging services
  • Social media account set up and management
  • Social media icons and feeds
  • Periodic updates
  • SEO services
  • Training
  • Regular and time consuming meetings requested by the client
  • Clients assuming that the above are included in designing or redesigning a website.

If the Client and/or Contracting Agency want these services included they need to add them to their project agreement at an additional cost. The Client and/or Contracting Agency need to be very specific if they require periodic site updates and how often is “periodic?


Scope creep may appear in a variety of forms, these three causes of scope creep are common to our design team.


  • The Client and/or Contracting Agency do not always clearly tell us what they want because they simply don’t understand what we can do for them.
  • We find that scope creep can magnify as a result of an unclear web design project, this leads to additional time, resources and costs.
  • We find that our clients like to slide in a few extra project requirements which do not form part of the original agreement.
  • We find it much easier for us to communicate fees for extra work if we can point out that the work is outside of the agreed upon deliverables.

Impact of Scope Creep on Web Design Projects

Scope creep has many negative results. It can increase our workload and lead to a stressful situation for our design team, resulting in inferior quality of work. The added work can either pull us away from work for our other clients, or force us to pay wages to a subcontractor to complete the extra tasks. In some cases, it means us going back to make additional changes to work we have already completed.

Unless addressed by our design team, scope creep means having to devote more time and effort without being adequately remunerated. It prevents the team from meeting project deadlines which can result in straining the relationship with the Client and/or Contracting Agency and between members of our development and design team.