updated: January 4th, 2011 / Ross Johnson / 6 Comments

The Web Design Process is All Wrong

I recently did a presentation at local marketing group LA2M in which I explained how changing the way you look at your website could double if not triple its performance. The group primarily consists of professionals who handle all areas of a company’s marketing plan with the website being one portion, so as a whole they are not “web professionals” like the common reader of this blog.

I realized after that despite the fact that the presentation was geared towards a different audience it did speak greatly to the faults in the common approach to web design (or redesign.) Our industry has evolved out of print design, advertising and other forms of traditional media. At this point web design is no longer young enough where there is an excuse for antiquated processes. Really the typical approach to designing on the web is far from ideal. While this isn’t really anyone’s direct fault (meaning neither client nor agency, as both perpetuate the issues) there are great ways to produce better performing and more accountable websites.

Time and money is wasted on creating less than effective websites and no one questions it because actually performance gets a blind eye.

For that reason I modified and recorded the presentation for the readers of this blog and specifically to get your feedback. I encourage you to watch the video below, it isn’t too long and I assure you if nothing else it will make you think. (I apologize for the fuzzy slides in the video, seems I need to make a deck specifically for online videos).

The Web Design Process is Wrong from Ross Johnson on Vimeo.

For those interested you can see the original presentation at the LA2M website and view the slides on SlideShare.

6 thoughts The Web Design Process is All Wrong

  1. As you stated, the hardest thing to do is not the testing, but convincing your client to invest time to test. Testing costs money and clients are all too accustomed to traditional unclear results with marketing.

    Even working in-house, it was near impossible to even get the project managers to fit in an hour or two for usability testing. Once the site is live, they consider their work done. There are no tweaks that are not customer requested.

    That’s not saying this isn’t an excellent idea. It’s just hard to convince clients that it is worth while.

  2. Very valid and excellent points Laura. Often getting buy in to the idea is the hardest part.

    I think the point at which you propose it often makes a big difference. If you propose the testing at the iterative / revision phase of the design process rather than at the end it can end up saving money. Time will be spent regardless in changing the design and trying out various different options, instead of using that time making subjective changes use it to find changes that have a measurable impact.

    Ross Johnson
  3. Don’t just propose it like it was part of the iterative process, just make it part of the iterative process.

    Test early. Test Often.

  4. The Web Design Process is All Wrong « Web Design Marketing Podcast & Blog Web Design Marketing Pod.. http://bit.ly/kF7Tgv

  5. It’s always good to think about what and how we are working. I think they are very good web designers and works that are thinking for the objective. The trouble is that the objective is more to be in first page in google and a website like the client have seen o want, not like the necessity of the focus public …
    As laura is saying, the ideal is working some years with the client, actualizing his web but it’s not always like this…


  6. The Web Design Process is All Wrong « Web Design Marketing Podcast & Blog Web Design Marketing Pod.. http://t.co/QkYm7LQH

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