Ask any engineer, a good data set is sexy. A good data set has an artistic appeal. Hang one on your wall, they are exciting and satisfying.
There is beauty in the numbers. It’s an intersection of preparation, discipline, psychology, economics, and good design. The numbers can tell you a seriously beautiful story that you need to fucking hear if you want to understand your business and the audience that’s considering buying your shit.
When it comes to a business website, or any website really, but mostly a website with business goals, though I can appreciate a cutting edge, really cool and unique design, I’m all about the numbers. If you know in your heart that you have a killer product or service, and your website is not converting web traffic into leads and customers, then your cutting edge, really cool and unique design is worthless. In fact, every day that it’s live, it’s slowly killing your business. That’s just how I feel and it’s probably not always the case, but it’s how I feel.
Art is ego-driven. Design should not be. The analytics tell stories about how the world is interacting with your products, with your art, with your product, with your service, with your brand. If your goal is to be an artistic pioneer, then, by all means, disregard the data. If your goal is to be successful, be ready to crumple up your super-creative design and start over until the market responds the way that you want it to. To do this, the most important thing is to set up ongoing content experiments, as rooted in the scientific method as you possibly can.
The “Time On Site”, the “Conversion Rate”, the “Bounce Rate”, visitors favorite and least favorite pages etc. All of that tells a story and if you don’t respect the story, there’s no telling how much you stand to lose.
I once red that “art is ego driven, design should not be.” It cant just be about the looks. It can’t just be about how it makes you feel. You have to let the data decide. It can be a traumatic thing for a business owner, an artist, when they realize that this thing they created, they have to let it go. They have to let the data take this thing you’ve put everything into and as tragic as it sounds, you have to let it go. Let it be judged. Let it be consumed. You have to get out of your own way and let this organism blossom.
That’s what data driven design is all about. What converts your visitors into customers. It’s not always pretty. A lot of times it’s basic, it’s simple.