Yet, getting a new website that will be successful and help a business grow, now that's tough.
Web design has grown and evolved into a complex field. For conducting business, however, most people still approach the strategy of Web design as if it were still the early 2000s. At the turn of the millennium the dotcom bubble popped and the Internet was no longer a fad. From the ashes rose a new way of doing business online - encapsulated in the amorphous term of Web 2.0. Websites were no longer beholden to machines that operated off of DOS. Websites were free to become works of art that wowed their site visitors.
The birth of "Web design" had arrived.
That was almost 20 years ago. The world has changed over and over again since then. Consumers are no longer stuck on dial-up connections. Being tethered to a desktop is a time long gone. Everyone is online practically 24/7. It's an on-demand world. The digital landscape now defines everyone's existence.
Yet, most Web design agencies insist that the same old tactics from 2004 will still work today. Design, design, design. It's all about the design. The pitches and the arguments from these agencies are well known.
"You need to stand out if you're going to succeed!"
"You only have ____ seconds to make a first impression!"
And on, and on, and on.
Even the "smart" agencies are pushing a design first approach. They use data from studies that say people have a shorter attention span than goldfish. They say this proves that something special must be done to make people take notice.
Motivated consumers are unique. They're not daft, and they're not as flighty as a fish. Motivated consumers are looking for the solution to their problem. They're not online to be entertained. They're there to solve a problem.
A design-first approach has three fatal mistakes:
1. Focusing on design first ignores the customer. It puts all the focus of the website on the business's own wishes, vision and ego. Worse, it forces the perspective that the consumer is "as flighty as a fish." Instead of helping the customer on a one-on-one level, a design-first model sidetracks the website's objectives into impressing the masses.
2. Design has become commoditized. This has turned Web design agencies who use a design-first approach into becoming mere order takers. The very people who are depended upon being the experts are reduced to being simple order takers for the client. If the client is happy, then the agency is happy. The agency delivered what the client wanted.
3. A design-first approach minimizes any website into being a simple digital brochure. It fragments the company's marketing initiatives into silos. It isolates the website into a "thing." Instead, a website should be the hub of a company's entire digital marketing presence.
An agency shouldn't be hired because they have the technical skills or the creative abilities lacking by the client. If so, then the client will only get what is asked for and not what is needed.
A business website should be built for the ideal customer, not for the business.
These agencies are out there, all over, and they just won't die.