Sandi Dez Do you sell your services or products online? Are you using your website…
[Agile website design. Ever heard about that? Well, personally I never heard of it. And so, when I saw this guest post by Sarah Lamb, I thought it is something you would want to learn about. Will you love it? You decide that! So, here goes Sarah Lamb’s post on agile web design. Enjoy!]
Website traffic! This is definitely a big pain in the neck for many online business persons. And like most business folks, I’m sure you are prepared to give anything for more traffic to your site, right?
But have you ever thought about how the design of your website may be hampering all your efforts to drive more traffic to your site?
Truth is, what may have worked a few years ago is today already obsolete. Technology may have made your site redundant. What you need therefore is a fresh dose of design vitamins to revitalize your site and make it buzz like never before. For this you need agile web design.
What is Agile Web Design?
Agile or nimble – fleet footed, changing with the times. Changing with user cues. Dynamic. Your web design must be all this and more. The good old days were indeed, good – you created a website and forgot about it. It remained that way for years and years.
There was a reason why you could get away with such sheer laziness. There was less competition. Google was not there in the picture. You were happy with whatever traffic you received – but not now. Things have changed. And your web design concepts have to change if you want to drive more traffic to your website.
Agile web design means getting your web site to respond to user cues. It means adapting to technology. It means finding new ways to get traffic.
User Cues and Website Design
Users or visitors to your site expect much more from you than ever before. Unfortunately, they may not tell you this except you have a way of asking. So, you simply need to be sensitive to their cues.
Have you ever noticed how your visitors entered and exited your site? Do you have a tool to watch your visitor’s path around your site? If you don’t, you must first get Google Analytics. It’s free and fun.
The second step in agile web design is to respond quickly to cues and hints. If you find that visitors exit after spending lots of time on your site, but don’t buy or do what you want them to, then you must change your website design.
You must get them to fulfillment. This means changing and changing again and again. It’s also called iteration. You change your web page a bit and watch. Then you change a bit more until you get what you want.
This is how you will get more traffic and also reach fulfillment.
Clean Web Design
We have many more platforms to deal with now – mobiles, hand-held tablets and smartphones. Your web design has to cater to all these devices. This means your presentation has to be clean, without clutter. Keep your message in front or better still, keep only your message.
Forget about big images which look beautiful but don’t get you fulfillment. These images don’t load or take an awful lot of time to load in mobiles. You are likely to lose these customers. Maybe you are already bleeding!
Agile web design means attracting more traffic through iteration. You must keep refining your design and learn while you change. Only by doing this will you attain traffic nirvana.
Sarah writes on web design and similar subjects. Here is an example of some wonderful printing technology. Check them out here.
Hi Michael and Sarah,
The post is really great and i agree with all you’ve shared here. When i saw the title, it really caught my curiosity to read it which an example of a good title.
Change is what we must always be ready to accept in other to move thing forward and, just as you said, what works about 5 years ago might not still be working and if you’re still following same format, the you will be wasting your precious time.
Thanks for sharing Sarah.
Frankly, when I first saw the title I couldn’t make any sense of it until I read it over and over again and when the meaning dawned on me I had no option to leave it as it is! 🙂
Thanks for the comment.
Thanks. Yes. Agile is a new concept in web design
Does this have anything to do with the dynamic websites and salespages that are becoming very common these days?
Dynamic websites actually mean the software makes it dynamic. In agile, the web architect or designer has to keep making incremental changes. That’s the main difference.
Well, I haven’t heard about Agile Web Design, but certainly a nice concept which improves user experience and also enhance your website impression.
I really don’t know if it’s the name really, but I know that web designers have over the years tried to put some form of interaction on website to make connecting with site visitors easier. I think this is taking that concept further. Of course, in these days when online interactions has become a must, adding things like this to your site make your business more “social” kind of!
Thanks for the comment
HI Sarah, Chadrack
As far as Agile methodology in Software is concerned, it really calls for several quick iterations, flexible response and finding solution through collaboration.
If I go by this this concept, it appears to be really great and ever evolving. I think response time of the website should be something I can derive from that, on which we can definitely work as Google is paying great attention to loading time of the page.
Thanks for this great share.
This is really a new concept that we have to watch out for. Only hope Sarah will be kind enough to throw more light on this topic for us!
I am in software development field and we use AGILE Software Development Methodology.
I was aware about the AGILE but I never thought that we can put it into designing as well.
Agile software development is an old concept. In web design agile has a different meaning. It means making incremental changes in your website in response to user interaction. This process goes on till the user or visitor reaches fulfillment.
Fulfillment means getting visitor to do what you want him/her to do. If you are selling something, fulfillment would mean making the visitor make a purchase.
If you are webincomejournal, you want your visitor to read your content and comment on it.
Agile web design is a happening concept.
From your explanations here, agile web design is much the same as split testing, where you test different elements of the web page and make changes in order to improve results, or am I getting it wrong? You said it’s not about the software but what you do in response to user interaction. And this is what split testing is about,right?
Split testing is one part of Agile web design.
Ok, that makes things a little clearer. But is there a particular software for building agile websites? That is, one to make things easier? And if you are using wordpress how easy can this be?
Btw. I’ve made your link “dofollow!”
Thanks Chadrack. You deserve a better answer. Let me explain.
I was working with one of my clients on web design aspects. His grouse was that though he had thousands of visitors, he rarely got anyone to buy from his site. I did an analysis and wonder of wonders, his buy button was almost hidden from sight. Even if someone wanted to buy his things, she could not. I made the buy button prominent and on all the pages. You can guess what happened. But I did not stop there. I experimented with various placements of the buy button – colors, position, flashing button and so on. Did you know that human eye scan a page from left to right? Placing your most important buttons at the Top left or Top right can make a huge difference. Agile web design is not rocket science. It’s common sense. The agile part comes in because you have to keep changing the web interface.
Now the most important question. How the heck do you know how visitors are behaving on your site? You have to use Google Analytics to get this information. It’s the best tool and free.
I will write a post on how to use Google Analytics to fine tune your website.
The picture is now much clearer! And, I look forward to that Google analytics post because this is one tool I’ve really been trying to understand for my marketing promotions! Apart from the basic things like knowing how many people visited and what the bounce rate is, I really do not know much about reading those results! 🙂
That is great to hear. To most of us it’s simply some new concept. Thanks for stopping by.
Hi there Sarah and Chadrack,
I’ve been reading a lot recently about the need to make sites mobile friendly – but how easy is it to adapt an existing site, full of content, that’s built on a theme that isn’t designed for mobile devices?
I’d be interested in more practical advice as to how agile web design actually works in practice – it’s a great concept, but are there any simple, practical steps bloggers can take for themselves or is it a case of paying a specialist web designer to do it for you?
Agile web design has nothing to do with creating websites which can be displayed on different devices – like mobiles, handheld, tablet etc.
Agile here means catering to users and getting them to do what you want them to. A website is no longer a doll on the internet, it’s an instrument to influence people. To do this effectively, you have to get into Agile web design.
There is plenty of material on the net which talks about the subject. I would recommend readers to understand this subject because it will really help you reach fulfillment.