Why continuous research is important for your website

A new website’s development may seem to have a clear start and end, but it never truly ends. Successful websites and web applications continually evolve through updates, debugging, and enhancements. Likewise, successful brands apply lessons from website and product development to other products and the organisation.

A website’s success can’t be guaranteed just by a skilled website team and efficient marketing. A website must be well-made, match user expectations, and effectively solve their needs. It should also adapt to changing user needs. That’s why user feedback is crucial in the web design process. Although only a small number of website teams perform post-launch research.

When asked, “At what stages of the website development process does your team gather user insights?”, 59% answered Problem Discovery, 57% Problem Validation, 55% Solution Generation, 38% Solution Definition, 46% Initial Design, 48% Prototyping, 53% Validation and Testing, 16% Development, and 36% Post-Launch Review. (Source: Maze Continuous Research Report)

Getting user feedback in the Discovery and Delivery phases is crucial. Without early user input, website teams risk basing their work on assumptions, biases, and generalisations. Feedback and data provide web designers and web developers a clearer direction and confirm they’re on the right track.

According to the Maze continous research report, 78% of participants think their company can increase research frequency or perform more research. The main constraints identified for not conducting continuous discovery and research were limitations related to time, budget, respondent recruitment, and tooling.

Collecting data in the initial stage of website development provides valuable insight into target user behavior, needs, expectations, and concerns. It guides the creation process. However, the development journey does not end with the launch. To build exceptional websites and experiences, ongoing research and real user feedback should be continuously gathered throughout the entire website life.

User and brand behaviour changes over time, leading to evolving website needs. Continuous research acts as an active listening tool, enabling proactive response to changes and gathering real-time insights to improve your website features. Basing decisions on user data enhances customer satisfaction, leading to longer retention and cost-effective management. Meaningful data from long-term users is more valuable than from random newcomers. Prioritising user input in continuous website development ultimately results in greater success.

Website research provides valuable insights not only for the website but also for the organization’s overall strategy, and can inspire other business areas.

Human centred design should be a priority for all website projects. To meet and exceed user expectations, ongoing continuous feedback and testing of your website is essential. If you want to make continuous discovery part of your website process, get in touch today to see how Spaceship can help.