Why isn’t anyone coming to my website? – is a question I hear quite often from potential clients. More often than not it’s because the web design studio that they chose to build their website didn’t ask the right questions up front. Or it’s because the client was just price shopping (who has the lowest quote) and either don’t care or understand that in order to have a successful website, certain questions should be addressed upfront before any quote can be given and especially before the design process starts. Just recently I seen this:
We are the educational software development company, We need a fresh and impressive design for our website. The website will be in 5-7 pages and based in blue and orange combination.
Please provide your best quote with portfolio.
In all honesty, a fresh and impressive 5-7 page design with a blue and orange combination tells a web designer nothing about your goals, objectives or strategy for your project and will probably fail. Because if you don’t know where you’re going with your website then neither do we.
So when you want to embark on a major website design project for your business, you have a couple of options. You may decide to write down all your design specifications such as choosing a theme, your colors, images, etc. and then search for a web designer to implement it and hope for the best. At first, this may look like a fast, cheap, and effective option but more often than not there’s no real strategy or purpose behind it other than sitting there looking pretty. The success rate of this option is slim.
On the other hand, you may choose to adopt a collaborative approach which allows you to team up with a web design studio who has the skills and knowledge to design your website to do what it’s meant to do which is being your most effective marketing and selling tool for collecting leads, getting customers, and building lasting relationships. Even though this second approach may appear slow at the beginning, it is the only practicable means of ensuring that your web design efforts don’t end up as a failed adventure. Here are some of the vital reasons why investing some time in our discovery phase is the most profitable and rewarding route to take.
Your goals and objectives will chart our course
Your website should help you achieve specific business goals. It should act as a bridge that can connect your brand, products, and services to your target audience. But only a thorough understanding of the relationship between your marketing goals and the vital website design features (that can help you achieve these goals) will make the web design project truly successful. For example, if one of your goals is to increase sales by 25% annually. Then your website will need to be designed in a way that will bring the conversions which will result in the desired increase in sales. This relationship between the website design and achievement of your goals can only be properly established during planning at the discovery phase.
Discovery sessions uncover the truth
Every web design project has unique specifications, objectives and scope. Therefore, we don’t adopt a cookie cutter approach to every web design project. It is during the discovery phase that we collaborate with you to uncover the most important needs that should be met. We go deeper by asking the right questions and uncovering the truth about why you want a website – it’s a real eye opener for our clients and they tell us they learn a lot from it as well. Then we choose the most appropriate methods and techniques to manage the website design project effectively.
Success is enhanced through design
A successful business website must meet the needs of the users. It is only when your website offers its users a great experience that they will come back and recommend the website to others. Therefore, the external and internal users must be at the center of the web design plan. During the discovery phase, all the characteristics, needs, desires, and aspirations of the target users of the website are carefully documented.
This will lead to a deeper understanding of the way a typical user of the website will respond to different design features. This understanding will also help us to keep the user in focus as we proceed through other phases of development.
Development of long-term partnerships
We treat all our clients as partners. This is because we know that a successful web design is not a product of the one time studio-client relationship. It can only be achieved by long-term partnership. For your web design project to be successful, we need to collaborate with you and discover what will help you fulfill your main business goals. Then we can create a strategy that will allow other important features to be added as your business grows.
Discovery establishes a strong foundation for development
The main purpose of this vital discovery phase is to provide a strong foundation for the growth of your website as your business evolves. No business owner wants to have a website that will not be able to adapt to rapidly evolving technology and new demands from users. During the discovery phase, a detailed plan that will form the basis for other development phases will be established. This plan will also include a well written project management strategy with details on costs, completion times, milestones, deliverables, and several other important project management documents. After the discovery phase, everyone involved in the project will have a clear picture of the final outcome.
I hope you gained a better understanding about how effective and crucial the right questions can be at the beginning of the web design process.
It’s a new year and a new opportunity to turn your website into the marketing and selling tool that it was meant to be. If you have any questions about your website, we’re always here to help. Happy New Year!