Would you feel comfortable if every aspect of your business planning was the result of a guess? Everything from the product or service itself (“I guess people might need a cat-walking service.”) to how many people you will need to hire to walk cats (“Cat walking is going to be huge, so I guess we’ll need to hire about 100 employees.”). If you got a chuckle out of that, you might want to stop and consider whether you’re making similar guesses about your website.
When you opt for traditional website design, you’re essentially assuming that people will respond positively to this design and user-experience for the next three years (the average lifespan of a typical website). Logically speaking, you know that’s not the case. Consumers and their whims/likes/wants/needs change by the day - wouldn’t it be better to have an agile form of web development? One where you get real-time results about the changes you make, and one that lets you make quick adjustments according to data you receive?
Because if not, you’re going to have to be prepared for risks like...
The Website Redesign Took So Long We Forgot Why We Were Doing It
Traditional web design takes a long time. Sometimes, it can swallow the better part of a year from brainstorming to final roll-out. Somewhere in those intervening months, companies often lose sight of what they were trying to accomplish in the first place.
Often this is a result of poor strategy planning in those beginning stages. Did you miss the boat on your buyer personas or forget to document the specific goals of the website project?
Your Alternative: With agile Growth-Driven Design, you can address the most pressing website issues and needs immediately, and in turn see/feel the immediate effects of those improvements. This relatively instant gratification keeps the motivation high and momentum for the remaining phases of the project even higher!
The New Site Rolled Out, And The Complaints Started Rolling In
There’s an awful lot of razzle-dazzle that can happen when you’re neck-deep in traditional web design. These features that look so cool in demos, and that are so fun to design, can sometimes fall flat when they face an actual website user.
What’s more, these extra flashy design elements are often Expensive (That’s with a capital “E.”), meaning you just invested lots of money, time and talent into something that simply didn’t work. Now what?
Your Alternative: We are NOT knocking cool, new features! In fact, we’re obsessed with innovation and pushing boundaries. But, we incorporate these elements cautiously and with purpose. Growth-Driven Design allows for more realistic and ROI focused roll-outs. You can try out a cool new feature à la carte and get user feedback immediately to see what works and what doesn’t. If something doesn’t work, you can make adjustments immediately. No need to wait a few years until the next big redesign.
In The Time It Took To Redesign, We Experienced Changes In Our Industry
If (during the time it takes to follow through with traditional web design) your industry experienced a significant change in how it sells to prospects or the kind of prospects it targets for example, what happens to that design after launch? What happens if you want to add additional products or services or want to expand on the personas your messaging targets? How can you make sure the adjustments to content, design and user experience meets the needs of the new happenings in your industry?
Your Alternative: Cut your waiting time down by staying agile. Big website overhauls require everyone to be on board, 100%, for months on end. Is that really practical? Wouldn’t it be better to know that you could engage in a website design process that changes with your business and that can grow as your industry grows?
In life I crave relationships and honest connections with people – I use this unwavering need for human interaction to make Stratus Interactive a strong, growing and culture-focused agency. When I see an opportunity to educate, guide or solve, my strategic wheels start turning- challenge accepted.
New business development and account strategy are my two areas of focus and I’ll go to my grave undecided on which I love more! The feeling of helping a prospect understand how we can solve their pain and problems and make them successful is beyond-fulfilling, but then again, the feeling of collaborating on a strategic plan and seeing it produce measurable results is a thrill all its own. I’m so grateful to work for an agency like Stratus that allows my individual and professional strengths to thrive instead of having to choose between these two great loves!
Besides my Stratus life, I have one husband, one dog, one toddler and one bun in the oven (due 2016!). I’m a wine enthusiast (as in I love drinking wine), not-so-mildly-obsessive photo-taker and photo-album maker, and I get abnormally excited about grey, cloudy days.
I hope I have a chance to build a relationship with you sometime soon – feel free to call, social or email me anytime! See all Lisa McDermott's posts.