Five things to consider when building a new website today

In order to create a really great website it is important to understand that a proper analysis of the customer and business assessments needs to be done before the actual construction begins. Data is gold! First when you have grasped your data it is time to decide which technology is right for the project and start to build wisely.

Erik Westerdahl, Growth Lead, Joni Lindgren, Growth Lead och Carl Salmonsson, Developer at Rebel & Bird is listing the five most important things to consider when building a new website today.

1. No requests are allowed in the backlog if the claim can’t be backed up with data.

The goal! What is the goal! Which problems are we supposed to solve for the customer and what do we wish to achieve as a company? Even though you always wish to start building right away, “since it feels great when stuff is happening”, it is always a great idea to make time to really create a good foundation. This will make the next step easier and prioritize what should be done and in what order. Our rule is that nothing that can’t be backed up by data is to exist within our backlog. Naturally it should always be a clear connection to the goal. Data is both quantitative, what are visitors doing on your website (we use tools like Google Analytics and Amplitude), and Qualitative with usertesting and questions. Every source for data gives us clues and with these we create hypotheses and gain an understanding of what is most important to build.

A backlog is, easily explained, a list of requests. During a project items can be added, re-prioritized or removed.

2. All data sources in the customers life-cycle should be known, strategically selected and interlinked.

Within an organization there are several digital tools/services, the marketing team might for example use different tools for communicating on social media and other external locations. All those tools use data and all that data can be used by your website. The website becomes a hub with data and can easily be used to improve services and products. We need to assess what needs everyone in our organization have from the data that can be collected through visits, and interactions on our website, and decide how that infrastructure should look like in an early stage of the construction. Preferably we want all our data accessible  within the same bucket, a “customer data platform”, and that the webb and other tools can use that data.

CDP, “customer data platform is a customer data platform and is a type of packaged software which creates an persistant and unified customer database accessible for other systems.  Data is being collected from several sources, cleaned and combined in order to create a single customer profile. This structured data is then made available to other marketing tools.

3. Data should work proactively for us, not collected into reports.

Reports, no matter how good they are, tend to end up in a drawer and soon forgotten. Reports are also reactionary assumptions of the present. Instead use the collected data proactively by creating new services or features and experiment in improving the current situation or to create “buy-in” interaly in possibilities.

4. Use technologies which makes the site fast and accessible to all potential visitors.

53% of all visitors leave a website of the site takes longer than 3 seconds to load. This is why loading times, “First Meaningful Paint”, is incredibly important when building a website. The problem with slow websites is often content, like large images or videos.

In order to get your website to load faster, start by loading the websites logotype, texts and CSS along with necessary scripts. Thereafter images and videos can be loaded in. It feels like a certainty for the site to work on different screen-sizes and devices, but the focus should be to make the website really great for the devices most the majority of visitors use. Therefore focus should often remain on adapting the website for mobile units first.

5. Distinct, nimble and pretty.

To communicate distinct information on your website is of course important but if navigation, site structure, and usability isn’t obvious there is a risk that no users will ever find their way. You need to design your website in a way where the majority of the visitors doesn’t need to think about where they find what they’re looking for. Search functionality should be helpful for those who still can’t find what they are looking for. To simply present information might become boring. Content that moves likes movies or animations engage the users and creates a better experience. If the site also is pretty the visitors will spread your site to others.

When we build a website we need a team filled with dedication and empathy who cooperate with each other. It is important that everyone understands each other, the customer and the bussiness. It is of utmost importance to create a cross-functional team with different competences and obvious roles in order to achieve a successful result. To just lock bunch of developers into a cellar with an order have never worked.