What makes a web site (or a web app) a success or a failure? Having seen a lot of sucesses and failures There are a few common types of business website that have different risks and derminants of success:
- The website is the product or the core of the product.
- The website is an important part of your service.
- The web app improves productivity
- The website is just a brochure for an offline business.
- Content websites (ad or subscription revenues).
In our opinion most businesses should have 2 or 3. Some only need 4.
General success factors
- Usability matters more than design.
- General business factors like having a USP apply.
- Your users are not you (or your friends). Measure and test rather than ask for opinions.
- Unless its very simple, start with a minimum viable product, then improve incrementally.
The reason for the last is that it gets revenue generation going as early as possible, and let you base decision on what to add on observations of user behaviour rather than guesswork or opinions.
The website is the product
These are the highest risk and highest return businesses. The commonest indicators of failure are:
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