The design and development work involved in creating a highly effective website begins with the first client review and continues until the site goes live. Unlike any other industry, custom website design is open to criticism by anyone. To streamline the creative review process, it's important to follow your initial business strategy for your website. That is, what exactly do you want users to do... what is the number one function for your website?
Do you want users to purchase your products on your online shop? Are you trying to generate leads for future sales calls? Are you trying to build a community around your products and/or services?
Getting the best creative results are found when you follow your initial business strategy. Strategy and business initiatives are key.
At the beginning of your web design process, you had certain goals and business objectives. During your website reviews, your main concern should be focused on hitting these goals. Will the design and layout help increase newsletter sign ups? Have we given users easy access to purchase the products we offer? How does the layout influence users to fill out our forms so we can follow-up on the information? And so on.
During your creative reviews, you should ask your web design agency questions that will help articulate your business goals. How will my customer purchase products from my site? Does the look and feel of the site reflect my company's brand values? Does the look and feel of the site appeal to my customer? What graphic elements have you used in the design to lead customers to what we want them to do? What benefits are we giving customers with this site? Will customers know exactly what business we're in by viewing the home page?
Communication is key. Does the website communicate your business goals? Does the design support a unique experience? What value is being communicated? Are your goals being met?
If the answer to any of the above is no, tell your website design agency. Be honest. Any agency dedicated to their client's business success with take the criticism seriously and change the work to meet your goals. You should never approve creative that does not meet the business goals you have set for your online business.
When you give your web development and design agency concrete strategic design direction, they can create a site that will meet and exceed your business requirements.
If not, it's time to choose a new web design agency.