Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Online Trends User Experience

Embrace the new approach to ‘designing’ websites. Stop designing corporate websites. Find the true opportunity of the Internet.

Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Online Trends User Experience

It has been the most amazing twelve months in web design of my life; and I have been doing it for years.

Everything is changing and so much has changed. Almost everything is up in the air.

This is especially true of how we discover, scope, design and deliver projects; customer-centric design, Lean UX, Agile UX and all that.

Things that were not true twelve months ago are very much true today:

  • Users are sketching websites for us (web designers).
  • Hypothesises are set, tested and work constantly validated, work constantly iterated.
  • The days of heavy discovery and documentation are over, at least undertaken as a lump.
  • MVP is the norm, validated by users and customers.
  • Six month projects have become two month projects; it is all about getting to market.
  • Content is considered, researched and planned up-front.
  • Anyone with the symbols ‘UX’ associated with their title is paid tonnes.


Risk is being reduced, we are launching things earlier, we are being more efficient and if properly used, we are developing significantly more evolved websites than a year back.

Yet, with all these incredibly exciting, rapid and innovative processes for discovering, validating and scoping websites and ideas, many people are still envisaging and designing the websites of yesteryear.

The processes of customer research and Lean UX are simply substituting older, more rigid and slower processes and approaches, delivering the same sort of ho hum websites the web industry has been developing since the beginning of time.

I suspect this is because most web designers and clients have a pre-conceived view about what they plan to design anyway, prior to any design process taking place; the Lean UX process is not being used properly or to its full extent.

For whatever reason, problems are not being properly refined and resolved, people are not thinking about business opportunities and how to create an Internet business: they are just designing websites which fails to see the point and opportunity of the Internet.

As web designers, we are as much to blame as our clients. We are continuing to design ‘corporate’, brochure websites for our clients. And corporate websites suck: they are poorly performing if they perform at all.

One of the key benefits of the new and much leaner approaches the web world is taking to web discovery is that when used correctly, it allows for genuine discovery. It starts from an informed base (i.e. our current website doesn’t work so redesigning it won’t work either) and allows a corporate (and their web designer) to dive into a world of possibility:

  • What are the opportunities out there?
  • What would Google do if they sold our products or services?
  • What would really excite our clients?
  • How can we make the web a channel and a business for us and thump our competitors?
  • How can we revolutionise and/or create the delivery and sale of our products or services online?


It sounds like a giant step away from the corporate website and it is, though it isn’t a risk:

  1. The corporate website doesn’t work as measured by all metrics. So replacing it with Mars Bars and Russian car parts is no less risky than investing in a website and online business that challenges your business and really makes it an online business.
  2. The great thing about Lean UX and validating continuously with users (your clients, customers and so forth) is that they will guide you to the right solution, rather than the much riskier, no visibility attributes of older forms of website discovery and planning.


The world is becoming a world of the haves and have nots.

It is 2014 and clients must stop building ‘corporate’ websites’; they are just not competitive and do not tap the true opportunity of the Internet.

Which means embracing the latest approaches for research, design, validation and scoping because these offer the clearest path for truly innovating, designing the right website and being competitive.

Forget the CMS. Forget naming navigation. Forget it all.

Your users don’t care and it isn’t what will achieve you success online.

Dreaming, exploring and looking for the opportunity rather than redesigning and ‘responding’ will achieve it, backed by the latest approaches for finding just what that dream is.