Websites are like Icebergs

That’s right. Websites are like icebergs.

Most enterprises and small businesses relaunch their website about every 3-5 years (from the ones that I’ve been part of). There is always a frenzy as soon as a new website has been authorized. Either agencies are called in or the internal team gets started talking about all the great promises that the new website will hold. All the pain it will solve.

And that’s great.

Website launches. Team celebrates at the local restaurant. High fives, some sloppy, because of the beer, are flowing. It’s the wedding reception before the honeymoon.

The first few months of the new website is the honeymoon. You discover things. You even complete each other’s sentences (auto correct, it’s a stretch but work with me here). Wish it could be this way forever.

8 months go by and the honeymoon is slowly fading. You notice those little jarring things. Little things add up. It’s now a year and a half. New features were patched on, style and functionality were “tweaked” and now you have the birth of a monster, also known as technical debt.

It doesn’t have to be that way – not entirely at least. Especially if you’ve seen this pattern repeat itself.

When thinking about a website, it is easy to focus on the launch, motivate a team for a short period with a large, and shiny payoff. It takes a long-range vision – examining the history and fearlessly exploring the future.

The launch is just the tip of the iceberg. [inlinetweet prefix=”null” tweeter=”null” suffix=”null”]It’s just a blip, one tiny spike in the timeline of your website[/inlinetweet].

A website really should serve two groups people really well. The people who run it and the people who use it.

[inlinetweet prefix=”null” tweeter=”null” suffix=”null”]When was the last time the marketing team’s experience was considered in a UX meeting?[/inlinetweet] Most times, the focus is on the people who use it – by this I mean, prospects. Not the marketing and sales teams. Tighter integration with marketing automation and other vendors makes for an easier-to-use system that’s also effective.

Most times when UX is talked about, the image and personas we have are those strangers who find our website and how they interact with it. It’s not just them. It’s the folks who aren’t strangers – the ones creating content on the site. If they can’t use it or don’t know how to use it – the end result can’t be a good thing.

Most agencies’ involvement with a website post launch are minimal to none. At Postlaunch however, we work with clients closely years after a website launch and take note of how needs grow. How they scale. We see patterns and we take those into consideration.

Granted not every scenario can be planned for. Our approach isn’t a template for the perfect website or app for the next 5 years. It is more of an ideology. It has taught us to ask the right questions, make the right assumptions, and build for a website that is both scalable, sustainable and everybody’s favourite UX word – delightful.

This blog is just the tip of the iceberg. Dive in and read some more of our thoughts. We’d really be thrilled if you followed us on Twitter or Facebook. We love feedback and conversation. It shapes us. It shapes our long-range vision.