Why Website Design is Never Finished

Website Design Iterative

Our world is not constant. We are always in a state of transition, moving from one thing to another. Our customers change, marketing strategy changes, products are updated and new services are offered. Too many agencies cling to traditional approaches to digital products - most offering a 6-12 month timeframe to launch a final, "perfect' website.

That's not the right approach. You build a website that drives continuous growth, ROI and customer growth. It's only after those long months of design and development that you actually start to receive that all important customer feedback and begin to understand how your users are actually using the website.

It's time to change that mentally where you build a website until it's finished. It's never finished and each development project should be considered an iterative step forward towards a website that delivers true value to clients and here's why: 

1) Understand how real customers use your website.

When a website hits the internet and goes live, most of the design and development decisions we make are educated estimates of what visitors expect to see.  User tests and research can help guide development but there is no substitute for putting your product into the hands of real customers. What we think or even what people say they will actually do are often very different from the actualities of what they do do. 

 

Armed with ongoing user feedback, we can deliver new features and enhanced user experiences with each successive launch. Rather than launching a website after months of development and discovering we built the wrong site, iterative development makes it much quicker (and much less risky) to change direction following a promising line of development. 

2) Iterative website design is better for everyone

Iterative website design offers a lot of benefits to everyone involved in the process. More often than not, we find that our clients do not find this way of working easily understandable because through the years, they've been taught to expect a final deliverable.

With our iterative website design process, our clients need to be flexible enough to adjust to a continual, rapid pace of change. Most traditional companies stick to their five-year plans and quarterly marketing strategy -- if plans shift constantly because of user feedback, some clients might not be game.

With all of this said, iterative website design offers a better outcome for both our client and their customers. Our clients receive websites that are in a continual state of improvement, offering superior experiences to their customers. Instead of redesigning a site every five years, clients can focus on incrementally improving their user experience and it's all guided by a constant stream of data. 

With the Growth Architects responsible for monitoring the website usage, recording analytics to help with future design tweaks and content generation, our business clients receive better customer feedback and importantly, a higher volume of customer interaction. With our monthly plans, all of our clients receive iterative website services which means that now even the smallest businesses receive continual website updates based on real customer metrics, ensuring all of the websites we create are always moving towards perfection with each small tweak we perform. 

3) Launch better websites faster.

How does traditional website development work. A Project Manager meets with the client, then sits down with a designer. The designer mocks up an initial design and finally lands on a winner to pass to development. In the meantime, the client's market has changed and the design which won the clients heart is now not fit for purpose. Subsequent change orders are made and the cycle repeats itself again until the final site is ready for launch. Roughly around 6-12 months later.

The months which pass during this process usually result in the client missing out on the opportunity to connect with their customers. Competitors might beat them to the punch, customer might have lost interest in the service or product or even the client itself may have just ran out of steam. Anything can happen in a month and having a flawed process which can last up to 12 months is dangerous. 

Our iterative process brings designers, developers, and marketers together on a single cross-functional team to focus on a single project. Rather than waiting for the team to build every feature the client wants, the team distills the client vision into a fully functional, beautifully designed core platform: a minimum viable product (MVP) that delivers enough features to connect with real users and provide real-time learning.

Embracing iteration minimizes the chance that we follow faulty design hypotheses or build features that don’t provide value to the product. Launching new features and functionality every few weeks, rather than every six months, creates a continual flow of information to help validate our ideas and build better digital platforms.