Why every business should rethink how they approach their web design project
The old adage that your website performs a similar role to a bricks and mortar store is a good place to start. If you think of everything that goes into the launch of a store - from signage, to interior design and lighting, to product selection, placement and pricing, to the durability of building materials - you realise there are hundreds sometimes thousands of smaller decisions that make up what customers will ultimately experience. The same is true for your website.
No business owner opens a store and just leaves it for one to two years before making improvements. There’s constant upkeep, assessments and progressive improvements of how everything is tracking. What’s the foot traffic? What’s selling and what’s not? Are customers complaining about anything? What can be done to help improve the bottom line?
These are obvious questions to ask and the same should be true for your website. It’s only your best salesperson after all! So what’s going wrong?
To put it bluntly, the traditional approach to web design is broken.
Why? Because after a web launch the site will typically sit for between 18-24 months with little to no updates (occasional blogs or company news aren’t enough). Because too many decisions rely on assumptions and guesswork, even though they feel considered at the time. Because the available ongoing data is rarely used to drive improvements.
Let’s take a look at some of the common drawbacks of a traditional web design project:
Large up-front cost with no guarantee of return
The average small to medium-sized business web design will set you back somewhere between $20,000 - $80,000. This is a significant chunk of cash for any business without guarantees of seeing that investment returned in revenue.
Large time & resource commitment
It’s all hands on deck for around 3 months once a web design project starts. The time, resources and energy required to undertake wire framing, site navigation, content audits, usability testing etc etc…and with no business results to show for, well it would make any business owner uncomfortable and probably exhausted.
Launch late & over budget
This is the real killer and the most common criticism of traditional web design. The standard approach makes it pretty much impossible to control all the moving parts, invariably leading to a delayed launch date and a further injection of cash.
Granted, there are plenty of awesome web launches that have used the traditional approach. But as industry and customer expectations evolve, so must the way we develop our websites.
There is a better way to design websites. One that’s faster, leaner, lower cost and will actually deliver meaningful results for business owners.
It’s Growth Driven Design…
Growth Driven Design, or GDD, minimises the inherent risks of traditional web design through a systematic approach that shortens the time to launch by focusing on real impact and continuous learning and improvement. Sounds pretty good right?
Rather than the ‘launch and hope’ approach, GDD evolves as the website does. It embraces constant researching, testing, and insights about your user’s experiences and then takes all this data to drive your marketing efforts and strategy.
A business owner can have their new website up and running in under than 3 months. This is then used as the ‘launch pad’ for understanding what your visitors are doing and how we can improve the site’s performance. Nothing is left to chance because it’s all based on real live data.
Finally, it’s important to highlight that there’s no such thing as a perfect website. But the traditional approach creates a false hope that by putting so much time and effort into a web launch that the end result will be perfection. This is never the case and businesses should be wary of agencies who promise the impossible.
However, by embracing a process of continuous improvement and learning, and finding the right team to partner with, you’ll get your web project as near to perfect as possible.