Why do we redesign websites once every few years? Why is it such a monumental and painful undertaking? Happily for you and me, these are questions I will not even attempt to answer in this post.
Alternatively, I will briefly share a point of view on a pragmatic set of steps— from assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of web operations and experiences, to planning, building, and launching.
Before looking at these steps, consider this: most of the mobile apps we use every day are frequently updated—new versions are released and automatically updated on our phones weekly or several times a month. The rapid creation and release of new versions of these highly engaging, conversational and customer-centric mobile apps requires an agile approach to software development. With agile software development, teams of engineers, designers, and product managers work in short cycles of a few days to a couple of weeks, release updates, then work on the next round.
Following this mobile apps model, consider websites: creating engaging, conversational and customer-centric web experiences that develop deeper relationships with brands’ target audiences also calls for an agile approach that supports continuous optimization. It seems like common sense, but it is unfortunately all too uncommon with websites and web-oriented processes.
Here’s a three-phase framework for less pain, more gain:
- Assess, Strategize, and Plan — Before undertaking a website design, rebuilding or migration project, start with a reasonably thorough assessment, strategy, and planning phase. Doing so will help to ensure an effort that is built around your organization's fundamentals, and the needs and interests of your target audiences.
- Build and Launch Initial Base Site — After a collaborative strategy and planning phase, take an agile approach. Don’t feel pressured to rip and replace everything all at once. Build and launch an initial base site, and then commence adding to that base with an ongoing operational process for continuous growth. And consider using a low-code/no-code web CMS that anyone in the organization can use. Rather than making many assumptions, and investing in a major new website launch and hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in time and technology, your team will be able to execute marketing in an agile, market-responsive and results-driven manner.
- Drive Continuous Growth with an Agile Web Operations Process — After launching an initial base site, which could be adjunct to an existing web infrastructure, continue to build on that base as determined by organizational priorities or seasonality, market opportunities, or other business cases. This keeps the focus on the M.I.T.s—the Most Important Things to the brand, the marketing team, and/or the organization.
With this framework in mind, brands can continue to build content and processes that allow for a data-informed website maintenance and growth paradigm that no longer depends on massive and expensive major launches. Less complexity provides more opportunities to efficiently optimize web experiences, and gain greater insights into how prospects and customers are engaging with web experiences—all in the name of growth.
To connect with our team about agile web systems and experiences, reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call or iMessage Jeff at +1 617-480-2060.