strategies posted in business strategies  on 18 December 2009
by Andrew Lang 
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Launch your website early, then iterate

Launching a new website means you're often stuck in the purgatory of "option paralysis" - a seemingly infinite amount of design choices you must pick from in order to get your website up and running:
  • what colour sheme to choose?
  • which fonts to use?
  • deciding on a logo / banner for the site
  • deciding on a layout
  • writing the actual content
When developing bespoke websites, I've seen projects take up to 6 months to launch due to the disabling nature of being offered so many choices. Those who want to exhaust every possible choice available to them often solicit their friends and family's opinions on a particular design. Which can lead to re-designs. And more re-designs. This is the maddening, subjective nature of aesthetic design.

Some projects never get off the ground, and were abandoned.

And guess what? Even if such a project launches, immediately priorities changed as the site owner got the hard data of customer feedback post-launch. Then suddenly design and function updates were based on customer feedback.

So my advice is to release a website early. Get it functional and go live as soon as possible. Leave plenty of "wiggle room" so you can shape and develop the website with future updates, based not only on customer feedback, but the feedback you get from your website stats. If a lot of people leave your site on the shopping basket page, is it because you're forcing them to register at that point? You can only know that after your site goes live.

So launch early, then reiterate improvements and updates to your website based on hard data.

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