At their heart, all websites, irrespective of their target audience and irrespective of the commercial aggression (or lack thereof) of its concept, have a primary aim. Whether it is sales, registrations, subscription, completion of a “contact us” form, provision of information, etc, once a website is clear about its aim, the next logical step is to optimise the design and architecture of the site to maximise the success of this aim.
It is fair to assume that this should form the central thinking behind its initial design; however, it is equally fair to assume that a site cannot expect to provide the best experience for its visitors unless it evolves and adapts over time. Furthermore, even the best website design will still benefit from testing once it goes live and is exposed to the reality of user.
There are two ways to improve a website – firstly, one can wait until a critical mass of changes need to occur (to keep up with competitors, to offer improved service, to look professional, to take advantage of fresh technology, etc) and then commence a full website redesign; alternatively, one can follow an iterative path, changing and adapting discrete aspects of the site to improve in an evolutionary manner.
This second route is how a site such as Amazon can, without ever embarking on a full website redesign, go from this in the year 2000…
to this in 2012…
Simply put, they make small amendments (or iterations) on a very regular basis. The reaction to these iterations are analysed, using multi-variate testing and those that are deemed to be improvements (in relation to audience reaction) are retained. Multi-variate testing – and, more commonly, A/B testing – allows us to identify weak areas of a website, design potential improvements and then test the new designs against the status quo, using data from Google Analytics.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help you unlock the full potential of your website.