What is DATA-LED DESIGN? - Part 1 - New Website Builds

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If you're a marketer, sales person, web developer, or even an MD/CEO - you'll understand the struggles that come with planning and executing a brand new website. 

From the first conversation of a website refresh to the final go-live, the process can sometimes take months and in some cases more than a year, and that's if you manage to stay on plan.

This is a huge amount of time in terms of business, and still you could end up with a website that looks slick but is purely based on assumptions, and may not even increase purchases or conversions! Worse still, through lack of SEO migration planning, you may find rankings and PPC conversion rates plummet.

Let's face it, traditional website design can be pricey, lengthy, and cause many headaches along the way...so, what if there was another option?

Introducing Data-led Design 

As an agency, we've been working with clients on website evolution, new websites and site migrations for years. Throughout this time, we've sat through meeting after meeting as clients completely overhaul their design because "it's in need of a refresh".

The way we market has changed and with this, so has the way we need to craft our website. It's no longer just about creating a website that looks good. It needs to ensure that the user can find exactly what they need, in the fastest time possible. 

That's why we've created and trademarked Data-led Design®, our approach to crafting slick looking websites with seamless user journeys, fueled by analysis and targeted user testing. 

How does it work?

Data-led design is based on a structured methodology that can be broken down into four steps.

We learn what works and what is going wrong on the live website and iterate and test the frontend of the existing website so that by the time the new site is ready, users will already be ready for it.


'What's the use in a new website if you're not going to be making every page look completely different?'

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when launching a new website, is to focus way too much on the high-impact design changes and don't take a moment to take a step back and look at how the elements of your current website is performing. 

The discovery and data collection phase of Data-Led Design is all about understanding the moving parts of the website, gathering as many data sources as we can as well as holding discussions with key stakeholders within your business to try to understand who uses the website and how.


"Best practice says that you shouldn't use slide shows, nobody looks at them anyway."

You may know who you're marketing to, and what their pain points are, but do you truly know how they behave online? How do we know where to place a call to action or what it should do?

This step is where we analyse the data sources of your current user journeys, using analytics and behavioural tools including heat maps to understand what is working and what isn't.

We define key challenges to overcome, create SMART goals, and build hypotheses to test in order to move you from where you are to where you want to be. 


"My target audience likes cats, so let's use lots of pictures of those in the hero area."

The next step in our methodology is to explore beyond best practice. This is where we will craft new designs based on the hypotheses created during the previous phase. These designs will then be sent out for user testing to a hand-picked demographic. 


After each piece of feedback, the design of the page will be refined and each step above repeated as we iterate designs and put back out for testing. 

This will be repeated until a final design is voted upon by users and we know the new site will out perform the current version. 

To prove it, we A/B test the changes using VWO within the live environment by filtering a percentage of your real website visitors through to the page and seeing how they react.  Again, during this section the data really does do the talking - your newly designed elements are being put to the real test. 

Each of your pages has a purpose, the goal of each of your pages is logged within the software, and we will keep an eye on goal completions, and bounce rates as well as user behaviour on the page to determine the true performance of the page. 

Testing with real-life users gives Data-Led Design the edge as it means the changes aren't just down to the opinion of the project team or a senior member of the organisation. You can actually prove that the changes are worth investing in. You can also save a significant amount of budget by proving some changes are not worth investing in.


The Data-Led Design process is fluid and continuous. It is scalable, and the methodology can be adopted for a full re-build or simply updating low-performing areas of the website.

Our users are constantly changing the way they use technology, so this process will need to continue across your website. With this methodology, the release cycle of updates, new features, branding and everything else you want is much more reliable.

Creativity + data = magic 

Data-Led Design can provide assurances that investments are being made on change that is beneficial. Analysis of current data, considering known pain points, setting SMART goals to test hypothesis and arming yourself with a hit-list that prioritises actions allows you to completely trust where your budget is spent.

Who said data couldn't be sexy? 

Data-led Design is the sweet spot between creative website design and data driven UX optimisation. Want to see it in action? 

Speak to us and we will share our success stories.

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