Effective sites that become popular have at least one thing in common. They are built up from the right DNA that is focused on your customers/ users. And the specific customers / users and the particular needs you aim to satisfy are determined by your business goals and marketing strategy.
Getting it done right the first time is a rare and great achievement. You may even get results that exceed your initial expectations / targets. However, the goal (for most ongoing enterprises / initiatives!) is to remain relevant and useful to your target audience as their needs evolve along with ongoing changes to other relevant external factors e.g. environmental parameters such as social / economic trends and competitive moves; or internal changes such as a refinement of your marketing strategy (targeting) from a better understanding of customer segmentation & profitability.
Thus a more complete and accurate picture would be as shown below:
Highlighting the cyclical nature of
- identifying improvements & innovations (minor to major, incremental changes to radical redesigns)
- based on an ongoing or periodic monitoring of your market environment (competitors, customers, trends) and customer / user feedback
- making architecture and design choices / decisions, and
- implementing the prioritized improvements / redesigns.
A lot of published literature and discussions focus on the smaller iterative cycle that falls mostly within the Development, Testing & Launch box in the above diagram – using the agile approach. Contemporary development technologies enable this quick-prototyping-refinement-launch approach, and it is valuable in refining the user interaction / user experience.
However, this focus and excitement on better construction techniques can detract from the much-needed focus on the larger iterative cycle shown above (larger in scope and impact). The one that can help identify opportunities and issues at a broader level. E.g. while the former can help with serving the needs of your users in the most efficient and user-friendly way, the latter can bring up valuable insights e.g. are you targeting the right users and the right set of needs (given their priority in the minds of users as well as your business goals).