Following these steps will go a long way toward ensuring web design project success.
Step 1: Define Objectives
A website design project will never be completely successful until it aligns with clearly defined business objective. That’s sounds ridiculously simple, but it is almost half of the reason that 70% of web design projects fail. So why is it so deceivingly difficult? People tend to define the project and overlook defining the result or objective their trying to achieve.
You’re here to build a website. If you believe the objective is to have a website, there is a near 100% chance that you will come to know the project as a failure. No matter how much detail you provide to guide the project to be completed the way you want, there is a higher chance the project will be considered a failure than a success.
If you want to ensure a successful website design project you need to be crystal clear on WHY you want a website. The following are a few reasons why a business might need a website.
Online Shopping Cart
Demonstrate Products or Services
Get Found By People Searching Online
Automating Sales Processes
Improving Customer Service
Provide Expert Information
If you’re not clear on the result you expect to get from having a website, it will likely not perform the way you expect. If those results are not aligned with overall business objectives, again, there will be trouble in the perceived success of the project. There are any number of reasons why expectations are not met during a project. The two most common are assumptions that the project’s completion, in and of itself, will automatically lead to the result. In our website project one might assume that every website generates leads, or every website gets found in Google. Those assumptions are incorrect.
The other most common reason is either the project’s owner or the project’s producers (or both) are not able to clearly articulate what they’re setting out to achieve. The project owner (you in our relationship) may not be familiar with what the project should or could do. The project’s producer (Web180 in this case) may not understand your business well enough to translate your objectives into the proper website features to get the results you expect.
At Web180 we love successful web development and web design projects! We are willing to spend as much time as needed to properly understand your objectives and require outcomes. Both sides can work through the jargon and come to a clear understanding of what is expected and what will be done to meet those expectations. There is no charge for this process. Web180 has successfully worked with organizations in nearly 100 industries and of all sizes.
From multi-billion-dollar global juggernauts to mom and pop companies around the world. You won’t find anyone better at understanding your web design or development project and translating that into the absolute best solution for your company.
Step 2: Define the value of successfully completing a website project
Meeting an objective has a value to the organization. Sometimes the value is tangible such as reducing expenses or increasing sales. Sometimes an achieved objective has intangible value like outshining competitors or improving an organization’s image.
What role will this web development project play in achieving your objective? Whether it is tangible or intangible, what value is there to the organization when challenges are overcome? What impact will there be if the organization does not embark on a web design and development project?
These are the types of questions that, when answered, provide another layer of protection in deciding if a web project is worth undertaking, or not.
Step 3: Defining how success will be measured
Lastly, and probably most importantly, both parties – the web design team and the owner of the project, a.k.a. stakeholders – must be clear on how everyone will know when the project is complete. All too often a web design project’s completion is based on when the website is launched. However, one of the most common reasons a project is considered a failure happens afterward. What if 60 days after launching, the project never produces the intended result – increased leads, for example? You would have been happy and excited about your successful website project on the day of launch but disappointed by the failure 60 days later.
To ensure that doesn’t happen it is incumbent upon both parties to decide, before the project begins, how the intended results will be measured. These measures should not be defined lightly and both parties should have equal access to the measurements. Stakeholders should be very adamant about understanding the measures themselves and the way in which the measurements will be calculated and analyzed.
This should not be left to the team executing/producing the development of the website to determine. The measurements should be defined as transparent methods accessible by stakeholders. If proper methods do not exist, it must be part of the project to devise agreeable measures through reports, analytics, physical inspection, KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) etc.
We are happy to help define and create methods to measure and analyze results completely and transparently. Measurements are not something you need to devise yourself, but you should make sure it is decided BEFORE the web design project begins.