Before opening my web design agency in Surrey, I worked as a software engineer for financial giant Thomson Reuters. We worked in never ending development projects with cycles of launches to keep our trading software up to date. Conversely, in my web design agency, we are usually commissioned to complete one off web design projects. One off web design projects tend to allocate 99% of resources prior to the website launch with very little reserved for later.
One off web design projects are a bit like trying to update your entire house in one go.
I moved into a beautiful victorian terraced property 5 years ago. I was excited about how I could make my new home perfect for my growing family. Since moving in we have stripped the textured wallpaper, replastered, installed fitted cupboards, converted the large bedroom into two smaller rooms, redecorated, recarpeted and we have fitted a new kitchen including new appliances. Externally we demolished the rundown garage, laid a new patio, installed external insulation, re-rendered the walls, fixed a broken chimney and replaced 4 of the windows. I’ve changed my mind about the sofa which has been replaced twice. And before we opted for the fitted cupboards I tried various solid wood solutions. I’ve replaced my childrens beds a few times as they grow and I think I own only two items of furniture from the day we moved in.
It’s taken 5 years to design and build the home we have today. During these 5 years the priorities of my family have constantly been changing.
Can you imagine the utter chaos, stress, resources and financial burden required to complete all of this work as one massive project? Imagine having to live in and pay for your old out of date house for months on end whilst your new house remains a project in progress. Imagine if we all just left our old furniture behind every time we moved? What a nightmare!
The reality is that most of us update room by room, often going back to change things as we go. This gives us the time we need. Time to generate cash, time to clarify our thoughts and time to live with our changes without major disruption to our day to day life.
What’s wrong with one off web design projects?
- Bloated web design briefs. Because the website needs to last for 3 years everything needs to be included in the web design brief. There are no second chances.
- Inflexible web design briefs. Nailing the website brief is the first milestone and forms the backbone of the web design project. Preparing and fixing the website brief at such an early stage is restrictive and blocks creativity.
- Lengthy web design projects. Bloated web design briefs result in longer web design projects. Longer web design projects increase the chance of further delays due to lost clarity, changes of mind or even advancement in technology.
- Increased risks. With many things changing all at the same time it becomes difficult to specifically pinpoint which aspects of the project have been successful. There is a risk that the website could be out of date before it launches. The old website is live for longer than necessary increasing the risk of missed opportunity. There is a risk that the decisions and sign-offs being made will not provide the best outcomes.
- Increased pressure. There’s pressure to get everything right first time with the expectation that every decision will stand in years to come. The client is under pressure to “sign-off” fixed elements of a web design project without an understanding of future need.
- Tumbleweed. The website is fully tested, looks great and is launched. Client moves on to their next project (they have had it on hold for 6 months!) and the agency moves on to their next web design build. It’s all a bit of an anticlimax.
Let’s move towards a more flexible, relaxed and nimble approach to web design. After all isn’t that the true beauty of the internet? The internet is fast paced and instant, yet traditionally we are soooooo slow with our web design projects. If a web design project takes 6 months and your website is updated every 3 years that would equate to 1/6th of your business life spent focused on a web project. 1/6th!
Introducing Growth Driven Web Design
Growth Driven Web Design is faster, less risky, easier to track, more predictable and less stressful than the traditional web design approach. By opting for a Growth Driven Web Design process you can throw away the bloated and restrictive briefs and replace them with flexible and insightful wishlists. There’s no need to agonise over every tiny detail. Creativity and new ideas are positively encouraged!
Growth Driven Web Design is a commitment to launch a new website that is better than the old website as quickly as possible. This first website iteration is the “Launchpad Website”. Following the website launch a program of continuous website improvements is implemented. The improvements are agreed based on an evolving wishlist that is fed by client requests, technology changes and commercial insights provided by analytical data. A new Launchpad website may be required every 3 years or so to keep up with milestone changes in technology but by committing to Grown Driven Web Design the process is much less traumatic. Your website never really gets completely out of date and instead supports the growth of your business month on month.
Our Growth Driven Web Design process is achieved through Data Driven Design and Continuous Website Improvements. Keep an eye out for further details in the next few weeks!
“Growth Driven Web Design a new approach”is written by Zoe Ashby, Managing Director of web design agency, b:web, Surrey.
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