Okay, maybe not the very first two questions. But after finding out your name, the name of your business or organization, and your contact information – once you get down to talking about your website, most developers start asking questions like: “What’s your favorite color?” or “What are some other websites you’ve been impressed with?” I’m ashamed to admit I’ve asked those same type of questions (when I was young and inexperienced).
The reason this happens is a lot of website developers (or website designers) may know design and color theory but have no clue what will make your website a success. There’s a lot more to it than having an attractive design. The fact is SUCCESS has to be defined before it can be achieved. And if it hasn’t been defined, how can the website designer hope to develop the successful website for you?
According to Jesse James Garrett in his book, “The Elements of User Experience,”
“The most common reason for the failure of a Web site is not technology. It’s not user experience either. Web sites most often fail because – before the first line of code is written, the first pixel was pushed, or the first server was installed – nobody bothered to answer two very basic questions: ‘What do we want to get out of this product?’ and ‘What do our users want to get out of it?’”
There’s a lot of work to be done before we start picking out color schemes. And the first order of business is to find out what you want your website to do. This may seem obvious to you, but I have clients actively growing their business and striving to gain every customer they can. I also have clients who are pretty happy with the amount of business they have and want their website to simply be there when they need to replace a customer whose left. And I have clients who don’t deal with “customers” at all; for example, a church website is used primarily for communicating to the church community and the surrounding area. Knowing exactly what you want your website to do impacts almost every decision made: forming your message, the selection of images to be used, even the layout can be impacted.
The second question is equally important: When someone visits your website, what are they hoping to find? What problem are they trying to solve? What caused them to end up on your website? Understanding the answers to the second question will determine whether your visitors respond to you or not. People just don’t browse through random websites – they’re look for something. If you can give them what they’re looking for they WILL respond to you.
If your web designer/developer has failed to ask you what you want your website to accomplish, or has failed to explore with you what your visitors want from your website, it’s time to find a web developer who does. When we at Drake Web Development conduct a free consultation with you, these are two of the primary questions we discuss with you. We want to know exactly how you define the success of your website and what your insights are when it comes to the problems your visitors are trying to solve. If you need a compelling website that gets the results that fit your definition of success, please schedule a free consultation with us now.