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Do you really need a new website?

Author: Harry Cobbold
Responsive e-commerce website on mobile device

An honest answer from your favourite digital studio…

It might surprise you to hear that we (an agency which designs websites and web apps) often get asked whether you (the prospective client) needs a new website or app. As much as I’d love to save myself the trouble of writing this piece and just answer yes (which would be awfully convenient for our business too) the answer is of course, more complex.

So why might you, or why might you not need a new website?

One way to go about answering that question would be to approach it from a business perspective. A lot of briefs that come our way often talk about the need to ‘increase conversions’, ‘reduce bounce rate’ or ‘decrease the number of journey clicks’. And to an extent, that sounds like a pretty good reason for thinking about designing a new website or application.

Except there’s a problem with that… see, the metrics being produced by your current websites only show the symptoms of the issue, not the problem itself. Needing to increase conversions doesn’t tell us anything about why a website might or might not be delivering that for you at the moment, nor does it tell us why customers aren’t engaging, or whether there are actually too many clicks. At Unfold, we specialise in user-centred design – which in a nutshell means we go beyond defining what metrics we want to improve and understand what problems your customers, clients and end-users are actually struggling with.

This way we’re able to understand why a website isn’t performing, where those user-struggles are originating and how they’re impacting your business. Once you begin to build up a picture of why your current site isn’t delivering for the people actually using it, the answer to your original question becomes not only easier to make, but the resultant outcome and strategy becomes far more informed as well.

If you find the user becoming confused by a complex booking funnel, then using a different technology to build your funnel could unleash the flexibility to design a more optimised user journey. If your clients are getting confused by marketing copy then a new website with a more flexible content management system could allow you to constantly test and iterate copy and layout of your site in order to bring it closer to your customers.

Understanding where the users, customers or clients of your site are struggling and how that impacts the metrics you want to improve is at the core of why you should, or shouldn’t spend on a new website.

To summarise…

Web development on screen in digital studio Bristol

Do you need a new website? Well, first, ask yourself – what are my customers struggling with and could a new website or digital service help me solve that problem? If the answer to that is yes, then there’s a good chance a new site is going to help you achieve your objectives.

If you’ve got a project where you’d like to get closer to your users, we’re always happy to sit down and help – just get in touch.

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If you’ve got an idea for a new digital venture, email Harry for some honest, expert advice.

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