An article by Darrell Wilkins on 10 May 2022
Summary: Lots of websites are underwhelming because the people who create them focus on the easy parts, like graphic design and content. To get a high-performance FinTech site, you must focus on unsexy strategy instead.
Why don't most websites do what users and businesses need them to do?
It’s because the hardest part about building a website isn’t the actual building part. We have the necessary technical knowledge (web development, graphic design, and content creation skills) to build effective sites.
You need to know what to build and then build the right thing.
So, before you get caught up in adding superfluous features and content or updating your graphic design (no, these things won’t lead to better website performance), consider the difficult and unsexy steps necessary to create the right website for your FinTech.
Make Difficult Decisions During the Strategy Phase of Website Work
Your FinTech — and the website that represents it — can’t be all things to all people. If you go this route, you will fail. Focusing your website project, however, requires way more strategy work.
Strategy is hard. It asks you to hold a lot of competing problems, ideas, concepts, and demands in your head and make tough, high consequence decisions. It’s human nature to avoid making these kinds of difficult decisions, so lots of teams instead work on the easy parts of a website, like visual design and content creation.
The only way to find success with your FinTech website is to spend a significant amount of time and resources on the difficult, unsexy work of strategy. Make tough choices about details such as:
- Your company positioning
- Where to spend your budget (research, UX, graphic design, development, optimisation, content, etc.)
- The objectives you need to meet and how you’ll measure your success in meeting them
By making these difficult decisions upfront, you’re honing in on what your website and company really is and needs. And as a result, you’re more likely to build the right FinTech website.
Ask “Why?” to Solve the Right Problem with Your Website
Humans tend to do the obvious in all scenarios. From a website building perspective, that means relying on the wisdom of others or copying competitors without asking why you’re taking that route, or if it’s appropriate for your FinTech.
There are a lot of assumptions made during typical website work. But assumptions will lead you to solve the wrong problem — and build the wrong solution. Consider a simple brain teaser as an example of the dangers of assumptions. First, look at the numbers in the sequence below:
2, 4, 8, 16
What rule will determine the next number in the sequence? Before you guess the rule, you can ask if any number is valid as the next number in the sequence. So, what’s the next number? What’s the rule?
If you said the next number is 32 and the rule is that the numbers are doubling, you’re wrong. The rule is actually that the next number must simply be greater than the previous number. Sure, it could be 32. But it could also be 17, 20, or 100.
Even though you’re offered as many guesses at the next number as you want, most people decide on the right path forward as soon as they see the obvious: that the numbers are doubling. But if you’re too quick to go with the obvious answer, you aren’t spending enough time asking the right questions to get to the core problem and the related best answer.
How to Ask “Why?”
To avoid assumptions and the obvious path, you have to ensure you’re solving the right problem with your FinTech’s website. Try using the five whys method. It’s a technique that forces you to dig down and find the core problem to then build the thing that solves it.
Do Less, but Make It Better
If you’ve done the strategy work and you’re solving the right problem with your FinTech website, rest assured you’re on the best possible path. Don’t start taking on too much like many do, especially in the beginning of site work.
If you do too much — write lots of content instead of perfecting a few landing pages, add an animation where a block of text would do just fine, and so on — you dilute your efforts. You can always go back and add to your website after you’ve received user feedback on what’s working best. But creating features upfront your users might not care about is a waste of time and resources. And it muddies your site.
Instead, focus only on the essentials needed to make your FinTech website a success, based on the strategy you set. Seek constant feedback on these essentials so you don’t go too far down the wrong path before you realise you have to course correct. The earlier you catch mistakes, the easier (and less expensive) they are to fix.
Choose the Right Partner
Lots of agencies can write code and craft beautiful graphic designs. What you won’t get from most agencies is expert guidance on the difficult decisions — that unsexy work of strategy, problem solving, and prioritisation.
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