Traditional web design is broken. Let me know if this scenario sounds familiar: spending tons of cash working with a designer, waiting 3-6 months for minute detail alterations, waiting another 3-6 months for bug fixes and waiting another 6-8 months on branding decisions only to find that your bottom line hasn’t budged an inch. In a time where 55% of viewers spend less than 15 seconds on your site, data driven design is the only answer.
What’s Wrong With Traditional Web Design?
Traditional web design is a very non-agile and bloated process. Everything is front loaded and needs to be signed off at the outset, any revisions or changes during the process are billed on top of the agreed upon budget. The reality is, you just won’t get things perfect the first time round. I’ve managed multiple web design projects this way and the process just never works the way you envision. These are the biggest problems with the traditional web design process:
Scope creep. Stakeholders change their minds often and will request changes both frequently and seemingly randomly. This results in the project going over budget coupled with a wealth of other unseen delays.
Aiming for perfection. Any marketer worth their salt will understand that you almost never achieve optimum results with the first iteration of anything. This is an unrealistic expectation and one that generally causes big delays to the completion of a website project, whilst generating no return on investment for the stakeholders.
When it’s done, it’s forgotten. Most websites are created and then left untouched for several years before the next redesign. This is detrimental to the companies sales & marketing results as your website is the most important sales & marketing asset you have. If you can’t constantly improve it and change it, you are missing out on huge gains to your bottom line.
It’s not data driven. The traditional web design process is carried out in isolation from marketing and sales. A business will request a new website and a web design agency will provide a quote based on their own costs, in terms of billable hours. Data Driven Design involves building a website that is tightly aligned with the sales and marketing goals of the business, and built with their buyer personas in mind.
5 Steps to Becoming a Data Driven Designer
Data Driven Design is an agile method of website building involving constant live improvements, functionality and UI changes based on real-time data. With Data Driven Design you don’t have to try and cram two years worth of business and marketing predictions into one month, each month you’ll make changes to your site, add content and improve its performance based on the data gathered.
1. The Process
The Data Driven Design process integrates tightly with marketing and sales and generally the first month of a Data Driven Design approach will be spent analysing the data and performance of your existing website, mapping out buyer personas and establishing marketing goals to build the site around.
2. Spread Costs Over Time
Instead of a huge upfront cost, Data Driven Design costs are lower and broken down into monthly payments to account for the ongoing nature of the design process and to allow for future design changes based on the data gathered from your site.
3. Launch Quickly and Improve
DDD focuses on building a customer-friendly design framework and expanding the site slowly over time. Instead of waiting 3-6 months for an imperfect site, Data Driven Design allows you to launch an effective version of your site quickly and then make changes based on data rather than assumptions.
4. Grow ROI
The worst feeling for a business owner is to spend a load on a website then find it’s generating mediocre results. With Data Driven Design your site is constantly dynamic and changing based on actual raw data. If you decide you need to restructure the site to focus on a new service or product, no problem. With traditional web design, this would likely cost you significantly more and be a lengthy drawn out process.
5. Cover All Bases
If you use a Data Driven Design provider to build your website, they’ll be able to generate more leads for your business. One of the biggest challenges marketers face is improving ROI with a static website. Ultimately anything you do that involves online marketing will play a role in how you continue to design your site. Take for example, if you notice users coming from a Facebook ad are bouncing after 41 seconds on page, you’ll know to decrease the size and amount of text on your page to keep users engaged. It’s small changes like these that turn a bounce into a lead!
If you’d like to read more about this topic and are unsure if your website could be hampering your bottom line, feel free to leave a question in the comments!