It’s time to update your company’s website. Exciting, right?
If you’ve ever participated in all the planning that goes into web development projects, you’ve probably already experienced some of the bigger frustrations that commonly come up in the process. The planning is far too involved and takes far too long, as no one can agree on what the site should look like or what it should do.
After the planning, you wait… and wait and wait, as the web developers build the actual site. When you finally get to see the final product, many parts turn out to be slightly different—or significantly different—from what you had in mind. But by now the project is already over budget and past deadline. So you’ll be stuck with a less-than-optimal website, but only for a couple of years at most—because the site will have long since become obsolete in some way by then.
For our seventeenth episode, James and I interview Director of Strategic Services C. Ray Harvey about a new approach to website redesign projects called Results-Driven Design. The process begins with goal-setting, and works backward from the goals to the elements of the site that will most effectively help you achieve them. The highest priority content and functionality is then incorporated into a Launchpad site, which goes live as early as four weeks into the project. Ongoing refinements and additions are subsequently guided by actual usage data—the results in Results-Driven Design.
What RDD potentially offers beyond launching a website quickly
How you can launch quickly without detracting from your site’s quality or effectiveness
How RDD relates to agile software development and what constitutes an MVP (minimum viable product)
The three predictable failures of traditional (waterfall) web development projects
Why it’s better to get something out there soon and build on it with what you learn from real results than to try to plan the perfect site up-front
What the most important distinctions are between RDD and traditional web development
What the different timescales look like and why more planning seldom means a more perfect website
How RDD helps with aligning your website to your broader marketing strategy
Why it’s more effective to work backwards from the metrics you hope to move
When it’s a better idea to simply purchase a SquareSpace blog
Why your website development is never done
How metrics can guide your ongoing design strategy and priorities
How the cost of maintaining an RDD website compares to having a traditional website
What the time-to-launch for the initial site looks like
What specific metrics you use to guide the design
What an A/B test is and what role the practice plays in RDD
C. Ray has played an integral role in dozens of website redesigns, including a couple for Aptera. He’s good at what he does because he’s quick, direct, and eloquent. And you’ll be able to tell from listening how excited he is to finally have a more workable process for web development.
I'm Aptera's Content Strategist. I've been writing about tech and marketing for 5 years and have certifications from HubSpot and The Content Marketing Institute. A big science and literature geek, I taught college rhetoric and composition while I was still busy going to school for way too long, earning bachelor's degrees in anthropology and psychology, along with a master's in British and American literature. Look me up on LinkedIn.