It is very tempting to deploy a pretty website. Something that you think ticks all the boxes of what consumers expect from their online experience today. Avoid doing this.
Build a website framework (wire-frame) that does not include pretty images. One that at it’s core gives you the ability to test each major element on a page. Once you’ve agreed to your framework then design the pretty elements, two or three versions of each so you can test which works best for your customer.
For our current development the ability to split test was core to the development and design brief. Product pages need to be easily manipulated, footer and header elements adjusted etc. Both single page elements and site-wide elements need to be tested. And once you have determined the winner, keep testing it. This process should never end and your site will evolve with your customer’s expectations over time.
Tool used: Optimizely.