We create websites for the benefit of someone right? Is that your ultimate goal? Well there are many angles we must take in order to achieve short and long term goals. We must remember that the client, an agency or a freelancer work in sync to get everything correct. We also must remember that the relationship between the client and the users that come to the website you built have a great experience and share that experience with others. I’ve worked at several agencies that skip many steps in order to land the next cheque. This mistake will ultimately hurt any agency or a freelancer in the long term. What good is a website that does not convert?
Lets look at some examples everyone:
Scenario 1: Local flooring company comes to you and wants a killer website that kicks butt. They are visual and don’t care much for wireframes or web strategy. The agency decides to create the website with simply mocking up what they have on the fly. They completely ignore wireframing, site maps and the actual web strategy. You got yourself a pretty picture that creates click fear because proper planning was never done. The agency just skipped 20 steps and jumped to design and development. Failure is imminent and the website is a joke with broken links, confusing functionality and a bad hair cut. Agency created a failed website and gets a bad rep.
Scenario 2: Local bike shop wants a website and wants to target several cities. The agency gets a clear idea of what the company does. They create a site map based on client needs and the website. They investigate other similar companies to see what strategies are common. The information is presented to the client and gets approved. The agency then creates a web strategy that will create a positive experience for the users that enter the site. Every aspect/scenario is thought if and mapped out. The web strategy is then presented and approved by the client. Wireframing is the next step and every single page is created without images with the main focus on function and usability. The wireframe then goes through a testing phase throughout the agency and the web with the biking company involved with every step. This step CAN NOT be skipped because the success of the client can depend on it in many cases. I’ve seen it fail many times and its a shame to see not only the client fail but the agency as well. Once the wireframing is approved, they go ahead and create the design and mockups. Every page is then mocked up with the hover states included on separate files. This agency even creates the design with thank you pages at hand. The mocks are then presented to the client. Nothing was left out. They have everything through the wireframes and the specs match exactly. They then go into more usability testing with the mocks with third party software to determine if the design works. Once data is analyzed they can then go to development. Beta testing soon follows on a dev server. Launching is soon after. This agency goes by the book and creates a SUCCESSFUL websites without mistakes. The client is happy and the clients users are also happy. The agency gets props and gets recognition around the biking community for what they have created.
There you have it. If you want a successful campaign DO IT right. If your agency or yourself are all about the money you WILL fail. That’s my personal guarantee.