Rapid fire Q&A with Sholom Rubin, UX Director at Forwardslash—a Ptex sister company specializing in developing beautiful, innovative websites that that drives businesses /forward/
As the UX strategist at Fowardslash, Sholom leads a team of researchers, developers and front end designers to create sound strategy, wireframes and user flows to build out sites and create optimal conversions for our clients. He’s also chief of making-it-happen-in-the-most-efficent-way-possible and is always educating himself and the team on what’s next in the digital space.
I asked him if he’d share a taste of his vast web wisdom—and here’s what he had to say.
What’s the first thing that businesses need to know before they create their website or update their existing website?
Sholom: As Stephen Covey said: “Begin with the end in mind.” Some people think a website is a magic bullet. But the truth is, simply having a website is not going to necessarily help your business. You first need to know what you want to achieve through your website—whether it’s generating leads, selling products or engaging existing customers so they strengthen their connection with your brand.
We often tell our clients that we don’t sell websites. We sell outcomes, not output. So, my advice is, before hiring any company to do their website, business owners should first analyze their goals the same as they would any other investment into their business, like hiring a salesperson or buying a piece of equipment. What return are you looking for? What do you ultimately wants the website to do for your business? Once you know that, then you can properly build your website around that goal from the outset, and you’ll avoid wasting precious time and resources.
What does your process for building a website look like? How is it unique?
S: Our process is unique because it’s truly iterative—and what I mean by that is, we don’t build out a website, dazzle our clients with the finished product, get their approval, and go straight to launch. The entire process, from the discovery phase to go-live, involves testing with users to ensure that the website is communicating properly, that it’s clear and easy to navigate, that its messaging resonates with the intended audience and compels them to take the desired action. Even once the website goes live, we continue to test, update, and improve on it so that it’s actually achieving the business owner’s intended goals.
What’s your opinion on what makes for a truly “wow” website experience?
S: It comes back to a popular saying in the UX community: “No rockstars, no ninjas, no gurus.” If someone proclaims to be the expert on how your website should look and believes their opinion is the only one that matters, beware. A true expert knows that the only one who should have a say on what works is the user, and the only thing that matters is results. At Forwardslash, we never push something because we like it. We let the users weigh in. And then we put our creativity, knowledge, and experience to work. That’s a magic formula to produce real results.
Sholom Rubin is a user experience strategist with over a decade of experience developing website strategies to help businesses achieve their objectives. At Forwardslash, Sholom directs a team of developers, writers, and front-end developers in creating smooth, user-friendly site flows that optimize conversions and help businesses reach their goals. Learn more at www.forwardslashny.com