Erik, Joni, Calle

Five things to consider when building a new website today

To create a great website it is essential that you understand that you have to do a proper analysis of the customers’ and business assessments before the 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.

We asked Erik Westerdahl, Growth Lead, Joni Lindgren, Growth Lead, and Carl Salmonsson, Frontend Developer, to list the five most important things to consider when building a new website today.

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

The goal! What is the goal! What problems are we solving for the customer? What do we wish to achieve as a company? Even though you always want to start building right away, “since it feels great when stuff is happening,” it is still a great idea to make time to create a good foundation. Knowing the goal makes it easier to prioritize what you need to do 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 user testing 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, quickly 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, and the marketing team might, for example, use different tools for communicating on social media and other external locations. All those tools use data, and your website can use all that data. The site 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 has 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 web and other tools can use that data.

CDP, “customer data platform, is a customer data platform and is a type of packaged software that creates a persistent and unified customer database accessible for other systems. Data is being collected from several sources, cleaned, and combined 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 only reacting to assumptions of the present. Instead, use the collected data proactively by creating new features and experiments to improve the current situation or to create “buy-in” internally in possibilities.

4. Use technologies that make 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, as large images or videos.

To get your website to load faster, start by loading the website’s logotype, texts and CSS along with necessary scripts. After that, load images and videos. 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 great for the devices most the majority of visitors use. Therefore emphasis should often remain on adapting the site for mobile units first.

5. Distinct, nimble, and pretty

To communicate distinct information on your website is, of course, essential. Still, if navigation, site structure, and usability aren’t obvious, there is a risk that no users will ever find their way. You need to design your website, so the majority of visitors don’t need to think to find what they are looking for. Search functionality should be helpful for those who still can’t find what they are looking for. To merely present information might become tedious. 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. Everyone must understand each other, the customer and the business. It is of the utmost importance to create a cross-functional team with different competencies and distinct roles to achieve a successful result. To just lock a bunch of developers into a cellar with an order has never worked.