We’ve been rolling out a new approach to web design and marketing to increase the value of our clients' digital offerings over time. We call it Continuous Improvement.
Compared to a traditional web design project, Continuous Improvement (CI) is able to provide better results for several reasons:
In short, CI is an iterative design methodology geared towards the fast-paced nature of digital marketing. It is rooted in Agile and inspired by HubSpot’s Growth Driven Design as well as Blair Enn’s concept of “website as a service”*.
In a traditional web project, you spend several months designing, developing, and tweaking a website before showing it to the market. You then let it sit for 2-3 years before another major redesign is needed.
With a CI approach, we stand up a paired-down version of the new site in a relatively short amount of time, then use user data to prioritize the next several months of incremental improvements. This keeps the focus of the website on initiatives that can drive success metrics upward and prove both immediate and growing value into the future.
At its core, CI involves defining goals and objectives for the site’s content, design and development features. A ranking system is established early on to prioritize these features based on their value, level of effort, cost-benefit, user data and finally, the shifting business needs of our clients.
For many companies, this iterative approach can be put into place almost immediately after a short strategic discovery session.
In some cases, though, a company needs an immediate and drastic change for any number of reasons: their site is aesthetically dated, not responsive or built on an aging platform. In this case, we create a custom-designed launchpad site that can be taken to market quickly (typically 6-weeks) and is built on a modern platform that is usually head-and-shoulders above their existing site. We then build off the platform through monthly initiatives.
Beyond the benefits listed at the beginning of this post, Continuous Improvement has 3 core benefits that make it a valuable and viable option for any-sized company.
Different clients have different needs and there is certainly a time a place for the ‘traditional’ redesign process. The iterative approach may not be possible in large companies with many stakeholders or complex needs. Companies with established web presences may be a candidate for jumping into the iterative cycles and skip the launch pad. However, we do like this approach as it helps anchor a company’s online presence as a central focus of their overall marketing efforts.
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