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Creative Lead, 7+ Years of Web Design and Development Experience
June 16th, 2015
The process of redesigning your website can be a huge undertaking for you and your company.
Unfortunately, there are an array of obstacles you may face while creating your site, and while you may notice a few, you might be blind to some major ones.
To create a beneficial website, it takes a combination of factors ranging from a solid foundation of what its purpose it, an understanding of who your buyers are, a realistic timeline, and a team that’s on the same page with each of these.
So before you go launching your site, here is a brief rundown of five big issues your websites UX might have with some accompanying solutions to help you avoid making them.
Didn’t Establish a Purpose for Your Website
Whenever a business puts money into something, it’s typical to expect some sort of return on investment.
The same should be expected from your website.
Whenever a website is being built, you should be asking yourself a few vital questions. “What is the goal we are trying to accomplish with our website? What is the return we are looking for? Is this website something that can be continuously expanded and improved upon?”
If you fail to address these questions, your website won't have an opportunity to succeed in changing anything about your business, and certainly won't help it to grow.
How Can I Fix It?
While website goals will vary based upon your business, all companies should be utilizing the same technique to define them by using the S.M.A.R.T model.
S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Essentially, the purpose of this model is to iron out a defined goal for your website, understand if it's valuable for your business, possible to monitor and achieve, and doable within a set timeline.
By detailing what you expect from your website using this model, you will effectively prepare yourself for the outcome you want your website to give you.
Website Timeline Wasn’t Properly Planned
Due to the difficulty of guestimating when a website should be completed, or the order of the steps needed to do so, it sometimes seems optimal to set random deadlines or to develop a “when it gets done” type of mindset.
However, both of these ways to choose deadlines yields a multitude of issues.
If you aren't outlining the correct milestones for your website, and in the right order, you will inadvertently forget certain objectives, complete projects that didn't have the proper foundation to begin with, and create an endless launch deadline.
Establishing milestones will ensure that your website will have a successful launch timeline with visible goals you can analyze before deciding if you’re ready to move on to the next step.
How Can I Fix It?
Take a look at the outline UPANUP has created to help guide how your timeline should look, what should be focused on in each step, and how long they may take.
While the ranges they have for each stage seem large, it will ultimately come down to the size of your project, how complicated it is, and how fast you need it completed. Remember, never rush if it isn't necessary, and don't cut any corners trying to expedite the process.
Never Built Out Buyer Personas
Making a website without knowing your buyer persona is like trying to walk around selling a product blindfolded; you can’t advertise something without knowing who your buyers are.
If you develop a website without knowing who you are suppose to be attracting, you won’t have a clear understanding of how to optimize your website to attract and convert your ideal customers.
Figuring out who you're creating your website for will ultimately give you knowledge into the right types of information you need to use to attract your buyers. This way you can hit their pain points and effectively increase the likelihood of them buying your product.
How Can I Fix It?
There is no shortcut to figuring out who your buyer personas are - you need to research and collect information that you can realistically use.
For a better understanding of what you need to research, try answering some simple questions that define some of the major elements of your personas such as your buyers location, age, gender, and interests.
If you have any doubts about the validity of your research, your best bet is to contact your customers directly by picking up a phone or by surveying them using a tool such as Survey Monkey. They will be able to give you better insight into what motivated them to purchase your product and what concerns they had when they were looking.
Once you have your personas defined, you will have an easier time understanding how to properly market yourself to your potential buyers as well as how to create more engaging content to continue driving them back to your site.
Didn’t Work Collaboratively With Your Team
While building your website, you have to work with people with a variety of backgrounds and skillsets.
Our instincts are to typically divide everyone up based upon what they do, assign tasks, and let each manage themselves with the notion that you can’t offer any insight to help further your colleague's work.
But by isolating one another based upon position type, you risk the possibility of miscommunicating on changed plans, certain steps being developed before others, confusion in terms of the sites functionality, etc.
Understanding how to collaborate with your team will create transparency throughout the completion of each stage. This will also allow members to spot issues early on and prevent one another from developing assumptions that usually occur when people don’t talk to one another when uncertainties arise.
How Can I Fix It?
Before you begin assigning tasks, make sure you first designate everyone's role within the project and establish someone they each should report to concerning their part of the progress.
Once that’s established, you can begin allowing the appointed supervisors for each section to delegate tasks. From here, team members should be able to manage their portion themselves and report back to whomever when needed.
It’s also vital to get feedback from others along the way regardless if they are in your department or not. Putting yourself in your own world leaves you blind to ideas and opinions you may not have considered that could drastically better what you are working on as well as help you learn more.
Since it can be hard to manage all the tasks for this type of project on paper, Trello provides an excellent platform so teams can define tasks, tag team members, and keep a log of everyone's progress for anyone to see. Try using a tool like this if you have a larger team you’re working with who may not always be so easy to follow up with directly.
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