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Refocus, refine, results: Why we’ve decided to refocus our approach

Skyward recently celebrated its first birthday. And a lot has happened in those first 12 months. We’ve evolved, adapted, grown. We’ve even shrank strategically (more on that later).

Person holding camera lens.

Written by

Dan Spratling - Founder & CEO

Dan Spratling

Published on

16 August, 2022

If there’s anything we’ve learnt along the way, it’s this: life moves FAST when you’re building a business.

I mean it — you need to be on top of your A game at all times. The second you start sleeping on your business, momentum comes to a screeching halt.

But, I don’t want to be an advocate of the *24/7 grind* mentality. That’s not how I roll.

I want to create a working environment where our team and clients can both thrive. I want the Skyward team to have everything they need to deliver powerful results while working strategically.

So, if you’re thinking things look a little different around here, it’s because they are (and I’m not just talking about new website designs).

We’ve decided to refocus our approach so we can bring our clients even bigger long-term results while also supporting the internal growth and happiness of our team. And let me tell you, I am excited for this next phase of the business.

Ready to hear all about it? Then keep reading to learn exactly how we’ve refocused our strategy, why we’ve done it, and what we’ll be doing going forward.

Refocusing the way we do things

When I first started Skyward, our initial focus was on Jamstack development.

Our team designed and built Jamstack websites for an array of clients.

We still do.

But, Jamstack has never been the sole focus of our agency. It’s part of a wider process that we use. One tool that helps us achieve the best results for our clients.

“Then what is your focus?”, I hear you cry…

User Experience!

We’re putting User Experience front and centre

Whenever we were building a new Jamstack site for a client or auditing their current site, there was one recurring theme that always stood out to me; user experience.

Everything on your website comes down to User Experience (UX). Everything. From your site navigation to the words on your homepage, the contact forms you want people to submit, and beyond.

From your customers to your editors, and even your developers; Everyone who interacts with your website is a user and it’s important to provide them with the best experience to ensure you get the best results.

Great UX is essential if you really want to scale your business. That’s why we’re readjusting our focus back to UX.

That’s right, we’re going back to our UX roots.

We want to help businesses leverage the powers of UX within their own business systems, websites, apps, services and products. Jamstack development will still be a core part of what we do. It just will be done with a UX-first approach.

The reason we love Jamstack is because it improves user and developer experience across the site. Basically, we love Jamstack because of its UX capabilities. Jamstack development will still be a core part of what we do. It’s just that Jamstack has always been a part of the bigger picture, which got lost over time.

Taking a UX-first approach means we can more easily show you the powers of prioritising user experience, including using Jamstack technologies. It also means we’ll be able to show what we can achieve for your brand in a way that better connects with your team’s goals. 

We understand that not everyone wants to get bogged down with the nitty-gritty technical details of what we do. Switching to a UX-first approach means we can easily communicate the ways we help businesses, without alienating anyone with technical jargon or dev-speak (unless you want to get into the ones and zeroes). We’ll still discuss the technical aspects of the work we do, but it’ll be done within specific services pages. 

What we have done to achieve this and why

Making changes in business requires a certain level of attention to detail. You don’t want to draw a harsh line in the sand and change your entire working model in 24 hours. 

That’s just setting yourself up for failure.

So, we’ve been slowly rolling out changes in the background while working on the shiny-new face of Skyward.

In the background, we’ve been optimising our standard operating procedures (SOPs), re-evaluating what projects we can bring the most value to, and making sure everyone is aligned across the same goal: optimising user experience.

On the front, we’ve improved our design and refined our copy.

It sounds simple, I know. But the changes really have been substantial enough to require a rebuild.

Never underestimate the power of good design and copy.

So, why have we made these changes?

Well, we wanted to make sure we walk the walk, not just talk the talk. We want you to see Skyward as we truly are — professional, high-quality, & trustworthy, but also fun, grounded & transparent.

We’re real people, working together to create better solutions.

To do that, we’ve refined our web design and development, making sure it reflects our level of professionalism and quality. This doubles down as a showcase for how we work, as we’re totally open.

So along with our new website, you can also see the designs and our analytics to see exactly how we work and how our business changes over time. 

Then, we’ve combined this with open, honest (and fun) content that’s engaging and showcases the results we can achieve.

We’ve got a lot of knowledge to share with the world… and we want to do that in the best way possible. So, we’re working on ramping up our content and being your go-to friend for all things UX, web design and agency-life. That means better case studies, more descriptive services, more blog insights into how we work, and continual updates from us.

I’m passionate about building Skyward in public. I want you to know everything that’s going on behind the scenes at Skyward HQ. The ups, the downs, the mistakes (we all make them), and, of course, the wins. 

I want you to join me every step of the way.

How we plan to track performance

Okay, so I’ve spoken a lot about the changes we’ve made, and why we’ve made them.

But, I’m not someone who just makes changes for the sake of it.

I want to know exactly what’s working, and what isn’t.

So, as we embark on this next phase of the Skyward journey, I’ll be doubling-down on analysis.

I’m going to be carefully monitoring and measuring our performance. By tracking our performance, I’ll be able to strategically support the long-term growth of Skyward.

You can’t just build a website and cross your fingers it will work. You need to monitor performance and periodically audit the website. So, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

Broadly speaking, we plan to measure:

  • Analytics - Are more users visiting the site, are they engaging with the content more? What parts are the most valuable?
  • SEO - are more pages showing up higher on google? Is that bringing more leads?
  • Clients - are we getting more client projects that match our skills? Do they typically work with us for longer?
  • Profit - are projects more profitable, allowing us to reinvest and provide even better results in the future?
  • Time - is the time spent reasonable for the work delivered? Are we optimising our time to be the most efficient?

By measuring each of these key areas, we’ll be able to stay true to our goals, keeping Skyward on an upwards trajectory.

Here’s the thing — if we can achieve our goals, we can help our clients achieve their goals too.

It’s simply: the better we perform, the better-equipped we are to help you.

Refocus, refine, results: What’s next

As you can probably tell, I’m really excited to be stepping into this hyper-focused phase of Skyward’s journey.

Everyone on the team has been working really hard behind the scenes to get Skyward to the place it is today. We’ve worked together on some incredible projects and it’s all just a glimmer of what the future holds.

We’ve built Skyward in a way that it can constantly evolve, improve and expand.

In order to do that, we’ve been strengthening our foundations and finding innovative ways to better serve our clients.

By refocusing our energy into UX, we’re confident that we can help businesses reach their goals faster and easier than ever before. And we’re excited to continue helping businesses on their own journey to the top.

Thanks for joining us on the journey so far! If you’d like to team up on your next project, reach out and contact us.

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