I'm not sure if you noticed, but we have a website. It's nice, lots of stuff to click on, a clean structure, a solid grid, an awesome color palette. While we all love it, it's never really done. At ZURB, when it comes to website design, we make it a point of continually iterating.
Just look at our homepage from our initial relaunch to 2 weeks later—a lot changed.
We trimmed the fat and better focused your attention with one color accent color. We changed out some copy to help clear things up, too. Without this iteration, we wouldn't have been able to launch. We'd still be hung up on relaunching for the first time.
With our team-based approach to all our problems, we get several sets of eyes on projects throughout our process. That adds huge value to not just our clients, who value our team's opinions and abilities, but ourselves as well. We are able to tap into our collective power and use it to find opportunities in our own designs.
From there, we riff on our projects until we're satisfied our goals have been met. The way we work on websites stems from our patented ZURB process.
An Iterative Process
We work in four phases: Define, Frame, Implement, and Evaluate. From the earliest points in a project, within the Define phase, we're looking for opportunities. What are your weak points? What aren't you seeing that needs improvement? You might come to us for a website facelift, but our audits might uncover serious problems with your publishing tool, your product or services, even your business model. Whatever it is, we find opportunities and act on them throughout our process.
Throughout the next steps, Frame and Implement, we give those opportunities definition and ultimately that final polish once the project is implemented. At this point, we've completed a website project, but it's not finished. During our process, we focused on the biggest wins for our client with a handful of key opportunities. Now it's time to revisit the project with our Evaluate phase.
The Evaluate phase gives us the chance to look back on a project and dive back in with fresh eyes. We want to make sure we did our best to deliver the proper solutions for those opportunities. While we do that, we often find more opportunities or additional areas of improvement. We talk to our clients and work with then under a new project to focus on more of those opportunities. We iterate on projects over and over until our clients are truly happy.
We've found the benefits of such a workflow to be amazing. Here are a few we'd like to call out:
- Results are always focused on quick wins, meaning we iterate on a website in small bursts to get things right one at a time.
- Business goals are more accurately met on each page to convert and make a successful business.
- New opportunities come up that result in better business performance for clients.
- Experiences are fine-tuned, becoming simpler and more intuitive, making the site easier to use and faster loading.
And those are just the tip of the iceberg. In any type of design, and with interaction design especially, it's important to iterate through and through. Prolific sites and their businesses are never completely finished, and it's no different with our website.
Even after we implemented the site and soft launched it a few months back, we knew we weren't done. As a start-up, we know when to get scrappy and just get things done. We weren't completely happy, but we knew that we had the opportunity to go back and revisit it all. And that's exactly what we did—and still do every month.