When a website redesign is not what you really need
Pretend that you have been investing your time, money and resources into a new web design or development project (which you didn't really need). Things have started out really great at first. Everyone on your team was excited. Your developers sounded like they knew exactly what you needed. Your designers presented mockups so clearly spot on - as if they were taken straight from your imagination. You remember thinking - "Finally, with this shiny new web redesign many amazing prospects will finally see my company for the unique snowflake that it really is!"
Over time though, things have gradually started to cool off. Every time new functionality was added new bugs seemed to appear as well. The timeline kept getting stretched out, releases postponed and sometimes there just seemed to be no end in sight, while new expenses just kept piling on and go way over budget. An otherwise pleasant relationship with your designers and developers eventually turned sour.
What's even worse, the new customers are nowhere to be found. No one really cares about your new looks and new functionality which you've so painstakingly debated over in user experience review meetings. At least they don't care enough to fork over their hard-earned dollars in exchange for the wonderful things your company offers to sell.
Time to take a step back
Looking back to the start of the project you may realize that you’ve learned so many new things about your customers and your team’s needs. Your designers and developers have probably been helpful in that learning experience. However, your previously approved a budget could not have possibly sustained this sort of experience and so the stress builds and the project suffers along with your business and relationships.
While there could be many reasons for this, we often see this happen when the initial project quote and budget has been approved for a very limited execution-centric deliverable that is disconnected from the actual value it is meant to provide to the client company.
Instead of asking agencies for a quote on website design or development, try to dig deeper and ask yourself which key business metric you are looking to improve with your technology and marketing investment.
Are you looking to get more customers? What kind of customers do you really want to attract? Are you looking to increase the number of leads or are you looking improve their quality? Perhaps you are looking to decrease the amount of time you spent on qualifying sales opportunities?
Time to get agile.
Pick an agile methodology mix that works for your situation. We've tried various implementations of Extreme Programming and Scrum flavors and have recently begun to really enjoy Growth-Driven Design methodology on top of it.
There are a few big problems with traditional web design approach. The most obvious issue is in the tremendous investment of time, effort and money that's usually required every 2-3 years for a new traditional redesign. The end product ages quickly and usually doesn't scale with your business.
Growth Driven Design unlocks your ability to never lose your edge against your competition and to never fall out of sync with your latest business priorities.
You will be able to make frequent changes to your site based on how your visitors actually interact with your site.
Align web development project goals with key performance indicators.
An increase in leads does not always mean an increase in conversions, and an increase in sales does not always increase your profitability. Dig deep and find a business metric which you really are trying to improve and then structure your marketing, sales and development efforts around that single goal. In addition to working hard, you can work smart and see a greater return on your technology and marketing investment. You can also have a more mutually beneficial and a more pleasant relationship with your marketers, designers and developers. Your customers will receive superior value and will thank you by paying for it.
So there you have it. Reduce friction, empower your team and stop leaving business impact value on the table with traditional web design approach.