Fight or Site

April 11, 2012 by Brian Handrigan

Stay on Track for Online Success

With all of the technology that is needed in marketing today (databases, web programming, sms, proximity tools, etc.) it is important not to let the technology get in the way of common sense. I was just involved in a client situation that reminded me of this and I thought I would, in turn, remind you.

A client website was being worked on by a collaborative team – PC way of saying both designers and programmers were trying to work together. Over many months of effort, client briefs, creative briefs and discovery documents, many questions had been asked and answered yet there remained a gap between the creative concepts being delivered and client satisfaction. Frustrations were mounting on all sides due to the time, effort and cost to deliver. With the last round of reviews, comments and marching orders, site navigation and color call out comments were starting to fly and an overall focus on the minutia put a successful outcome at risk.

The choices we had were to 1) become defensive at the sight of the brief change requests and explain to the client why our way was best or 2) help the client move back from the dangerous detail and re-establish what we were trying to accomplish with the site in the first place.

We chose the latter approach and introduced a neutral party in to the dialogue to displace any collective frustration and just asked some 4th grade questions:

  1. If there could be only 1 behavioral outcome as a result of your website, what would it be?
  2. What would be number 2?
  3. What would be number 3?

We admit, this is not rocket science nor original – but it did re-frame the dialogue to be about customer action (their customers or potential customers) and not about site architectures, navigation panels etc. What we wanted to do is clarify the Why of doing a site, get priorities and get committed agreement as to these key business priorities. The design hierarchies and navigations will need to support them and they will. The next design conversation will be about how the new design effectively achieves the agreed upon priorities and not about technical nuances. A VERY different conversation.

Have you had similar experiences? Let us know.

Brian Handrigan
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Founder and President of GRA | MATR

  • On April 11, Sean Conaway said:


    Good to hear from you. Let’s touch base; we are looking for ways to better market our firm.


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