5 ways to make website design projects more successful

Don’t let the website design process kill the end-product. This happens to far too many organizations.

Dynamic websites - website design projectsThere can be many reasons for website design projects to produce a far from superior results. For one, too many “cooks in the kitchen” can muddle and disarm the creative process. Another common issue is that many teams provide too much feedback during the design phase and do not test the website in the development or testing phase. A third common issue is teams provide structural feedback too late in the process and do not spend time trying to understand the purpose of early wireframes, site maps, designs, models and personas.  There are countless scenarios that result in wasted time, effort or resources, but this short article will offer a few suggestions to prevent such issues from occurring.

Here are 5 simple ways to improve the outcome of your web design process.

Tip #1

Website strategy and planning: Spend extra time in the early stages clarifying goals, content strategy, wireframes and website requirements. Don’t skip this important stage in the hopes of speeding up a project. The discovery or planning phase of a web or digital project cannot be overstated in it’s importance. The initial website design planning stage sets a tone for scope, vision and procedures that come to fruition later in the project.

Tip #2

Build less; Launch often. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Break up larger website projects into smaller rollout phases. This may take a little more planning in the beginning to get it right, but it could result in better decision-making and a more-informed process. The result of this multi-phased approach will be more time for feature development and planning with the website and an earlier launch, which will allow for the collecting of analytics earlier in the process. This can be helpful for testing early premises with the website design, content strategy or structure. Website design projects that are multi-phase benefit from real-world user testing, more data and adaptation to the marketplace.

Tip #3

Get a bird’s eye view of the website. Create a site map and user journey for key personas. Ensure that decision makers understand the goals and the top landing pages of the website–their call-to-actions and destination pages. Too often decision makers spend their time and energy focusing solely on the homepage design or message. Many websites receive most of their traffic through their blog! Don’t forget the big picture: How the website will guide users through a journey and nurture a relationship.

Tip #4

Good communication is the backbone of web project management. Make sure that a solid project communication process is happening on both the web design agency’s side and the client’s side. Make sure there is vision alignment. Remember to discuss the core vision of the website design project in order to help set priorities in meetings, presentations and discussions. Ensure the whole team (agency and client) focus on the right priorities.

Tip #5

Think about the project process from the other side of the table. Use empathy to understand the role and experience of the people you are working with. This will help your clients or agency better understand the collective vision and goals of the project. Provide context when giving feedback or presentations. This will make the overall process more enjoyable and the end-result more profound.

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Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency and lead generation agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.