Building client-focused websites
When we begin working on any web project one of the first questions we ask ourselves is who is the client and what do they need this site to do. This seems like a perfectly innocuous question but it actually can be very hard to answer. The person or company who commissioned the site is, of course, the client. However in seeking to please a client, it’s very easy to forget the ‘other’ client, the actual users of the website. To deliver a truly successful website, we have to create something that balances the client’s needs and wishes with the needs of the end users.
Commissioning a website or web application can be a consuming experience – which means before jumping into a web project you’ll want to spend the time to understand the goals of your website and its users; a good web developer is a key resource in working through this process. It’s only possible to make informed choices once information has been gathered on the end users and their needs. There are many ways to find out this information, from a simple survey to focus groups and A/B testing.
In general, the more money being invested in building a website or web application the greater need for user research before, during and after development, to make sure that the application is really serving its purpose. Even if you’re spending a relatively small amount of money on a website, spending some of the budget to find out what your users really need can pay huge dividends. In building websites and web applications a large part of that comes from delivering a product that gives your end users information they need or an application that they want and need to use.
So, the next time you’re thinking about doing a website try to take a step back to understand what your website needs to do and work with a qualified developer to deliver a site or application that serves you, the client, and your users.