A web development project usually involves many stakeholders. Company owners, marketing directors, IT commercial managers, designers, and programmers, to name a few - the list goes on and on. Each stakeholder has their own objectives and agenda to fulfil, and a different process for doing so. While many stakeholders battle to have their perspective heard above all others, there is all too often one perspective that is forgotten: the user perspective.
As you will be well aware, it can be a tricky process trying to balance the varied and competing needs of different stakeholders. Most of the time, the final website reflects the views and perspective of the more influential stakeholder/s. While the perspectives of the main stakeholders are of course important to consider, they ultimately ignore the most important stakeholder in the success of the website: the user.
Users Are the Single Most Important Stakeholder to Account For
Your users, after all, are the audience your website is primarily addressing – and are probably the very reason you are creating the website in the first place! Unfortunately, many companies developing their website either dismiss the importance of user perspectives, or its importance is simply overshadowed by the competing perspectives of other stakeholders (including their own).
If you need a reminder why exactly users should be at the crux of a website’s success, keep in mind that the user is the one who make the final decision on whether he or she will use your company’s products or services.
So by now, you’re probably wondering how you can even start to incorporate user perspective into your website’s design and development. The first and most important step is to acknowledge that your target audience may have a completely different view, perceptions, and sentiments about many aspects of your brand and many offerings.
The first milestone of your new website should be to understand the decision journey of your core users, define how the website adds value to them, and map the digital journey that intuitively satisfies their core requirements. This process is what will define the success of your web design and development project.
A Web Development Process that Puts Your Users in Center Focus
Needless to say, a great website doesn’t just happen by accident. You need to adopt a comprehensive web development process that will allow you to stay focused on what is most important - your users. The process we choose to follow and suggest you do the same is:
1. Business Analysis:
We don’t only want to get to know your business, we need to understand it too. We’ll meet to talk about your products, audiences, and identity, as well as your main challenges and competencies. Using these insights, we will map and define your users’ digital journey, aligning it with your key objectives.
Wireframes are the bare bones of any website. We formulate the layout and detailed content architecture on all pages of the website, ensuring that the UI is adapted to your users’ decision and digital journey. To assess the effectiveness of our wireframes, we upload the designs into our tool sets and test them meticulously by running various user scenarios.
3. Content Creation:
Content is all about context. All written content on your website will be created by specialized content marketers whose writing will capture your brands’ voice. The content will follow our strict content architecture guidelines closely. In this way, your content stays relevant, engaging, and convincing.
4. Visual Design:
The next step is to tie the content, UI, and brand identity into a large, visually appealing package. Our design team will create a visual concept by carefully selecting the appropriate colour palette, fonts, and imagery that visually communicate your brand’s voice clearly and effectively.
Once all of the UI designs and functional specifications are approved, it’s time for our developers to shine. Custom-developed websites are our framework of choice, because they give our team the chance to showcase their expertise and know-how to deliver a project to the highest of standards. We are savvy with all of the most popular coding languages, and select those that are most optimal for a project’ particular scope and objectives. Before we sign-off on the final website, we run various tests to make sure that your website is programmed to perfection.
6. Tags and Metrics:
The final step is to prepare your web or native app ready for your upcoming marketing campaigns. We create, configure, and connect the app to all appropriate tags, pixels, metrics, and analytics so that we are able to collect data, and to monitor and optimize performance.
If you need more proof, just think about all of the successful businesses that operate online. You will notice that the one thing in common with each and every successful web development and web design project is that they all have positioned user perspectives in front and center, with their satisfaction kept in mind at all times.