If there’s one thing that we’ve learned so far from technology, it’s that nothing is permanent. Everything is in a constant change of state. The same can be said for web development. Customers are continuously demanding change, strategies are shifting, and new and innovative products are coming out at breakneck speed.
There is no way a website can be designed that can keep up with the continuously shifting requirements of the customers. No definitive model that can retain customers over a long time period or generate consistent ROI.
TRADITIONAL WEB DESIGN
Nowadays, what happens is that a business contacts a web development company. they build the website and move on. There are a number of problems with this approach. First of all, launching a website is tedious work. It takes a good web designer or developer 3 to 4 months to design a good website. It includes doing the initial research about the business, the products and services, the target audience and their needs and wants.
After that, comes the actual process of the development which takes more time. That includes coming up with engaging and unique content which includes text, images, videos etc as well as the programing. Finally, the website is launched. After that, it is a wait and watch game where the business observes the customer interaction and hopes that it works.
It requires spending a lot of time and money on different things like the content, the website developer, the logo design and anything else that the business might need. After a little while, if new products are added or if the target audience changes, the previous website becomes obsolete and the process is started from scratch.
If companies want to be smarter, then they have to make their web development process more efficient and versatile. It needs to become smarter so it can change with the flow of the customers without putting a lot of burden on the company’s finances and resources.
WHAT IS ITERATIVE WEBSITE DESIGN
This is a new concept that is based on a cyclic process. It processes prototyping, designing, testing, analyzing and refining in a continuous cycle to deal with unpredictable user demands and behaviors. It also helps a business respond to the demands of the market in a quick manner and take advantage of the rising opportunities.
THE ITERATIVE APPROACH
The traditional approach moved in jerks. It was not consistent. It was not continuous. The iterative approach is a continuous cycle that flows smoothly in sprints.
WHAT ARE SPRINTS
Sprints can be called pre-defined periods of time. Based on the company’s data, it could be anything from a few weeks to a few months.
The business observes the site for the duration of the sprint and at the end they finalize the changes that they think should be made to the website and apply them. Then the next sprint starts.
This could include coming up with new content and design for the website if the audit team thinks there’s a gap or something is missing. It could also include shifting and changing the position of the content that is already present to bring the effective content into the limelight.
BENEFITS OF THE ITERATIVE APPROACH
- Businesses can learn from the customers and the market conditions and make the changes in real-time.
- The company’s budget is not exhausted at the launch phase.
- The company can update their website on a regular basis and release new features based on the demands of the customers. This way, the customers will be more engaged as they will always find new content on the website when they visit.
- Since the company is working on the customer’s feedback, it will send a positive response to the customers and they will feel more confident about the company and the brand. They will feel more involved as they will know that their feedback is important to the company and that it is being taken seriously.
- The company can align its website according to its marketing needs in the ever changing market. If the needs of the company change, it will not take a lot of time or money to ensure that the changes are reflected in the website.
- The website and the logo are the company’s first impression on the client. With a one-time website, the business cannot do anything if they want to change them according to the shift in the market. With an iterative process, it is achievable.
- Businesses can stay ahead of the competition and ensure that customer engagement is at the highest level.
- Until the launch of the website, most of the initial research done is comprised of a lot of hypothetical ideas and guesswork. But when the website is launched, businesses can realign their website according to real-time data. Changes can be made not based on what the company thinks the clients want but based on what the clients are doing on the website and how they are interacting.
WHERE TO START
As a business, you can select any one element on your website and start with that. Let’s take your “ABOUT US” page, for example. Many companies still don’t know how important that is and how many serious customers visit their “ABOUT US” page to know the company better.
First, write the content and add it to the page. Next, review the data and observe what your customers are doing. What are they looking at? what are they interacting with? How much time they are spending on the page? Where are they clicking?
Use this data to inform your development team or the agency that you’ve hired to make the necessary changes in the next sprint. Think of your website as you would think of any asset. It needs regular attention and it should be maintained regularly. This way, your website can easily become your brand’s smartest, most reliable sales generation tool.
Considering all of the above, iterative web design offers businesses better outcomes. They have websites that are regularly updated and improved and their customers always get the best user experience. Instead of doing this every five or ten years, companies should adhere to iterative web design and focus on improving their clients’ user experience constantly.