Here at Elementary Digital, we think that iterative design is the best way to work to keep our clients happy and everyone on the same page when it comes to beautiful and functional websites. This post will explain what iterative design is and why we choose it as our modus operandi.
What is iterative design?
Iterative design is when a product, in our case a website, is built in cyclic stages. Each stage is one part of the website. As each part is completed it is evaluated, with the feedback going into the design to improve it until the design is just right.
It’s a very effective way to design and build a website, as the site is constantly amended and updated whilst being built to improve the look and feel. This ensures that the usability and functionality meets with the expectations of the client and the end user. The website is created with an understanding of how it works built into it from the various stages.
Why use iterative design?
Using iterative design is the best way to design websites. Here are three great reasons that we use iterative design when building sites.
- Find issues before they become problems.
There’s nothing worse than coming towards the end of your web design project and realising there’s a problem with the design. If you don’t realise there’s something up until the client feeds back to you when you think you’ve finished, it can mean going back to the drawing board and starting the whole project again. If you use iterative design, any problem can be picked up and worked over for a solution in the moment, saving everyone’s precious time and the client’s money.
- Getting user feedback.
With the traditional approach to design, wireframes and concepts are tossed around and then the designer gets to work. It can be a long time before the client sees what they have been envisioning and if there’s been a miscommunication, it can mean the design is wrong. With more time between vision and project end, there is a larger chance that something will be off.
Iterative design treats everything as a sketch until it’s signed off and completed. Every part is functional in an iterative build when it is shown to a client. This means that users can beta test the site, getting a feel for how it will work without having to just imagine it, so any feedback is based on the actual design and not a vision of what it should be doing or looking like.
- Less writing, more designing.
Traditional web design involves great tomes of writing about the design process itself, documenting each part so that the design solution is understood. This is a large part of the design process, and frankly, it isn’t designing.
With iterative design, the only relevant text is the one relating to the final design, not the redundant text about the process.
Iterative design helps to ensure that what a client wants is what a client gets from their website.