While building websites, it can be easy to get caught up in trying to perfect every section and element of your site so that it looks 'great' for when you launch it. The problem is that 'great' is completely subjective.
Think of this example. You're finishing up the site and look to others for feedback on how it is going so far. They provide it, and you tweak some things. Then you ask another group of people for their opinion. They like it too, but feel you should use a different color for a button. You do that. You then ask others and they give you some more 'tips' and you get back to work in making it look 'great' based on what those individuals told you. As a result, you fall into an endless loop of fixes. The worst part? You never needed all that feedback in the first place.
Here's how to approach the situation if you're unsure if what you have developed works. After all, you do want at least some for critique before you launch.
Get Feedback That Matters
Sure, your sibling or cousin might have a great creative eye when it comes to painting or drawing, but the fact is that when it comes to web design they'll be of little help. Instead of going to just anyone for feedback you can do the following:
Look for either industry leaders who you can look to for inspiration and best practices, or look at notable competitors to see what's working for their websites. The latter may be a bit difficult depending on your industry since it all comes down to the objectives and strategy of each company, but if you're in e-commerce, for example, look at the top e-commerce players in the market and see what they're doing right and maybe even wrong.
My first website for this agency was completely different from what it looks like now, but I made sure to have something up and running quickly.
Through this method of gathering feedback, you will most likely find things in common between all of these sites, allowing you to implement designs and strategies that are actually proven to work in your market. Use what works, ignore the rest.
Perfect Doesn't Exist
"If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late."
A lot of site delays may not even be the result of endless bogus feedback. Some are because of our own insecurities about the current state of the website. We always dream about our site looking a certain type of way, down to the very last line of text. The reality is though, sometimes what we see in our heads doesn't always work on screen, and if it does, it might take a lot of time and money to achieve it. Time and money that could be used toward something else.
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman knew this when he said, "If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late."
Remember, the ultimate judge of the website isn't you, your friends, family, or coworkers. It's your audience. Unless you're trying to target someone in the aforementioned groups, their feedback really isn't a good indicator of what actually will work. What may seem perfect to you may not be the case for the clients you're trying to attract.
Perfect is whatever drives results, regardless if we like it or not. We may not be a huge fan of a button in a certain place, but it's convenient because users see it and click on it often. Don't like the format of a section on your site? What if your visitors do? Would you change it then?
Don't Worry, Your Site Will Change.
People's behaviors online are changing faster than ever before. What might not work right now, may come back in style later in the future. And what seems to be the gold standard in design and usability may become obsolete in a year or two.
Don't fret too much about what your site looks like right now. The way visitors expect to interact with it may change in as little as just one year. It's more important to stay on top of current and future trends in behavior than to perfect something that might be outdated by the time you launch it.
Perfect doesn't matter, action and improvement do.
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