The most common mistake that can be made is to take the approach of “it’s my website and I want it like this.”
Why is this the wrong approach?
First of all, a new website development must take into account:
1. Your aims and objectives for your website
2. The website’s purpose
3. What your clients/customers/visitors would expect
4. What the clients/customers/visitors experience shall be as a result of visiting.
It’s fairly common to have a good website that works for the owner, but fails miserably on the visitors’ experience and does not deliver the results you really want.
Think about the website experience from your visitor’s perspective
A good idea to ensure you meet (and exceed) the needs of your clients/customers/visitors will be to ask what they want that would improve your site.
Some key questions to ask are:
1. Why do you visit, what do you hope to do/achieve?
2. What can be improved?
3. What is particularly good with what we have now?
4. What is particularly bad with what we have now?
5. What do other sites have that you find particularly useful?
6. Is the website easy/hard to navigate?
Testing your new website
Once your site is built, the website will need testing by your user-group to make sure it fulfils your requirements and their requirements.
Showing the new developments that your user-group has recommended is particularly satisfying as they feel empowered and involved, and your reputation increases as it looks like you have genuinely considered their ideas.
It will also give some idea as to how much the site has improved from a visitors point of view to fulfil your personal requirements of the website.
To some extent, you will guarantee the loyalty of your user-group as they become advocates of your business. Implementing their changes and recommendations will go a long way ensuring the end goal of having them say “I recommended this website”.