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How clients can avoid the 3 classic mistakes in web development projects

Website development projects between clients and agencies can be fraught with potential issues. In order to help smooth the process, we're outlining the most common ones below. By knowing what they are and how to address them, you can minimize their impact on your project. Read on for tips on avoiding these problems in the first place and handling them if they do come up.

Expectation Setting

When you're paying for an agency, your instinct may be to want something that will knock your socks off. You're asking for 'eye-popping,' 'unique,' and 'dynamic' website elements that make your customers say 'WOW' when they land on the new site. We understand your instinct to want the wow factor, but there are two issues with this:

1. Your customers don’t care about being wowed.

In fact, most would prefer not to be wowed.

Your customers want something that works well and is easy to use. Customers don't choose your competitor because your website didn't wow them. They chose your competitor because their products and services were easier to understand on their website, or maybe they could communicate their value more clearly through their use of content and assets.

No one wants to spend time figuring out how to use your website. It's mentally exhausting, albeit subconsciously. People want reliable and consistent design systems, and the reality is, the more bells and whistles you use to 'wow' people, the only thing that really ends up happening is that your website becomes more difficult and slow to use. This hurts your business.

2. One man’s wow is another man’s yikes.

The second thing is, the ‘wow’ factor is hugely subjective. Wow is difficult to qualify, which is why it ends up being the bane of a graphic designer's existence.

Typically, when we get UI design feedback like, "this just isn't wowing us," it usually means the client knows they don't like it but doesn't know why. They can't articulate their reasoning with proper rationale.

And that's the key: rationale, and data, are everything. Every decision a good agency makes about the user journeys, content hierarchy, and design system should be based on what they understand about your target audience segments.

An accomplished UI designer will present their designs with supporting rationale. I.e., "this is why I used this color scheme, these images, this component here," and it should always tie back to the personas verified at the start of the project.

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