Why old-school web design doesn’t work anymore

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In the past, brands looked to traditional agencies to bring them online. Often part of a larger print, TV or radio campaign, these agencies would assign a direct mail designer to put together a few page concepts and pass it to a contract developer to “figure it out.” Design it, then build it.

Back then, this process was painful but generally accepted. Today, this approach is absolutely fatal.

Simple websites of the past have become complicated dynamic web systems. Users are far more demanding and impatient. Systems need to securely integrate with dozens of other systems. The number of available tools, platforms, languages and devices have exploded, requiring ever larger teams of specialists whose work depends completely on that of everyone else. This ever growing technology and team fragmentation with increasing interdependence creates a communication and coordination nightmare that routinely kills projects.

Creating an exceptional product requires a carefully orchestrated sequence of events that work together seamlessly. This new reality has completely changed how web systems are designed and built.

Today, everything is connected. Web design IS development. Development IS design. It's the crafting of consistent user experiences, leveraging technology and design throughout the project to create an exceptional and cohesive product. It's one product team collaborating throughout the day to address issues, opportunities, progress and blockers.

The world of online business has never been more risky or offered so much opportunity. Poor product launches are no longer a private embarrassment - they can cripple or kill a major brand. The product must be authentic. The user experience exceptional. The business tangibly lifted … all before your competition does.

Product stakeholders must engage a cohesive, singular team that fully understands the business goals, technology, users goals and product management. Every member must be personally empowered to personally defend all aspects of a successful outcome. This requires user experience and user interface designers critiquing code and engineers questioning design decisions.

Nothing is sacred but the outcome. There is simply no room for anything else.

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