Coffee with an Expert: Developing Websites that Adapt and Perform
By Noah Armstrong
Nov 12, 2019
About 4 minutes
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Welcome to the seventh edition of Coffee With an Expert, a series of interviews with TSL Marketing's subject matter experts about their areas of expertise.
Throughout these interviews, you'll gain some valuable insights into our approach to digital marketing and lead generation for B2B technology companies.
Today’s Q&A is with Noah Armstrong, our Senior Developer.
Noah, how did you get into B2B website design and development?
I have a degree in computer hardware, but 6 months in, I had a class that discussed Moore’s Law. Moore’s Law seemed to suggest that 5 to 10 years from then, hardware knowledge wouldn’t be important, but software knowledge would be.
I’m always working to broaden my knowledge of website development as B2B website trends emerge.
How has our transition to Agile website methodology changed your approach to development?
The term “agile” comes from software development methodology. Agile implies that we react to change by engaging in continuous improvement. Our relationship with the client is ongoing. Using SEO and tools such as heat mapping, we can see how users are interacting with the site so we can make data-driven decisions for our clients.
Find out more about how TSL uses Agile Methodology to build B2B websites.
How do you achieve continuous improvement in website development?
I work on fixing problems. When I read about something new, I try to apply it. I build sites differently than I did 2 or 3 years ago. B2B website trends have led to everything being very modular today. Continual improvement is how you build the product.
How do you work with clients to determine a strategy for development?
I have more client-facing engagements now than in the past. I ask clients questions about what they want and like:
How do you want to portray your business?
What type of imagery best represents your brand? Imagery is make-or-break most of the time, so I work closely with design. If the client doesn’t like the images, they won’t like the site.
What do you think is cool? Maybe they want animation, for example.
What B2B websites do you admire?
I try to be honest with people. A lot of the clients I talk to have had bad experiences with people who say they are experts, but the site doesn’t perform. The client spends money on ads, and months later, they are back where they started. It’s dishonest to ask for money and then just check on SEO in 6 months.
Website optimization is a never-ending process. You can’t build a website and then not touch it for 2 years. You need to ask pointed questions like, “Where do you see your company in 6 months or 2 years?”
What happens once the UX designer hands the design over to you, the developer?
What are some of the challenges of developing websites?
The biggest challenge is probably acting as a website consultant for the client. Figuring out what clients need and distinguishing these needs from client 'wants' can be tricky. A client may use a term like “integration,” and I need to tease out what they mean. They may be talking about third-party content that needs to be incorporated into the site after a merger or acquisition. Meeting their requirements may mean I need to create complex objects or figure out how to get the data they need to develop a winning B2B website strategy.