Kaizen Web Design: Path of The Web Designer Ninja

kaizen-in-web design:become-a-web design-ninja

Principles of Kaizen to Optimize Web Design Projects

Kaizen {(改善) Kai-Zen} is an originally Japanese Management philosophy that translates to “Change for the Better” or “Improvement”. In essence, it is the practice of continuous change for improvement. Kaizen techniques involve adapting a baseline or a very abstract prototype and adding very minor changes until perfection (or something quite near to it) is achieved. Like any other progressive industry, the principles of Kaizen can be used to optimize web design projects.

Kaizen principles are applied in a multitude of production lines and as an integral part of the Lean Manufacturing Process .You can analyse any personal use item. Just take your trusty old car as an example; every year a small change is added in each aesthetic update in the same frame until a major change every 4-5 years. Or take a PC Notebook line-up (from any vendor after 2009). Each corresponding model features better specifications in the same chassis.

Kaizen professionals are able to explain the very definition of the words Kai (Change) & Zen (Good). Further analysis of the two separate Japanese symbols tells us that Kai is further divided into two other symbols; a person’s ‘Self’ and a ‘Whip’ that collectively signify ‘Hurting the Ego’. Zen itself translates to the embodiment of ‘Good’ as signified by a ‘Lamb’ placed on an ‘Alter’.

“A valid question at this point;  How do web design companies or other I.T related industry implement the principles of Kaizen or Lean Manufacturing to increase results?”


Before we get to that question we need to answer another closely related question. “How often should you redesign your website?” Ask this question anywhere else on the internet and people will tell you that you should do it once every 1-2 years or something like “If it ain’t broke… don’t fix it”.

However, since perfection is an ever elusive concept. So is achieving a digital presence. Personally, I consider achieving a web design that conveys your online business is an ongoing process. One that only ends with the end of a site’s usefulness. To achieve perfection you need to be willing to put in the extra effort. It is human behaviour that once a project has been ‘finished’ and/or uploaded on the web. Developers cease to ponder on further refining the design and improving the implementation of the end product.

“Kaizen is something that Encourages Constant Tweaking to Achieve Better Results Instead of Good Results.”


Kaizen is all about the little things. Little changes that are implemented daily over a long period. These changes are not just implemented for the sake of change but as small changes that actually enhance the layout, subtle upgrades if you will.

A website redesign does not need to span over a three-month long exercise that takes place every 1-2 years. It can also be implemented as permanent maintenance time based contracts where the design phase is divided into subtle small and calculated upgrades after a certain prototype has been finalized.

The Five Steps of Kaizen for a Web Design Company:

  • Establish some integral Benchmarks
  • Tinker with one aspect of your product until a substantial improvement is discovered
  • Compare with your Benchmarks
  • Save the changes that resulted in an improvement and discard those that did not
  • The Process is to be repeated until all the requirements are met

Which Web Design Metrics Matter?

Conversions, matter the most. The web design company that is the most successful in convincing visitors to buy from your site, is the most effective one. Many web designers fail to understand that this is a quantifiable metric, one that is integral for a client’s business model.

Leads are the second most important factor, in fact it is the most important metric that can be controlled through web design elements. Leads are the people who were intrigued by the website and cared enough to leave their name and number through a registration form, email or call option.

Traffic is the final metric that matters, it is simply the number of people that clicked on the site and experienced a digital pitch (Aka the brochure site). Bulk Traffic matters, but targeted traffic from your particular industry, with the most likelihood to buy is more important.

Address the Root of the Problem

Kaizen emphasizes on finding the root of a problem rather than dishing out quick, hasty fixes. Whilst using Kaizen lets you get the first prototype out the door earlier, individual bugs or errors become more time consuming and demand more effort. The end result is a product of higher quality so it balances out the extra working.

For example, a web design that is not generating the required conversion rates or leads can be fixed by Kaizen in a period spanning one working day. Analyse where your traffic is coming from and why it is not converting. The only work that needs to be done for the day involves fixing the conversion rate through various strategies like using more convincing language, refining the conversion funnel or adding more interactivity. Until a substantial increase in conversions is recorded.


Web Design Processes that Can be Optimized Through Kaizen

Design of a Web Project

Designing a Web Project (Process)

  • Kaizen to Streamline Development Cycle: Identify the Weak Points in your Software Developmental Cycle and Strive to Improve Them
  • To Minimize Resource Wastage and Repeat Development: Optimize Resource Allocation and Project Management Schedules and Criteria.
  • Web Product Testing Phase: Implement Kaizen in the Product Testing phase to ensure a better Quality Assurance Phase

Maintenance of a Web Design Project

  • Update the in use Business Product: Even a web product that is being used for business purposes can be updated through periodic CMS update Modules.
  • Hosting and Serving System: Leverage Browser Caching, Technical SEO and test some better Hosting Systems to ensure that the site’s loading times are as little as possible.
  • Optimizing Web Ranking and Minor Re-Design as Necessary: A deployed product can be optimized spontaneously as better alternatives come along.

Team Management for a Web Design Project

  • Recognizing Gradual Chrysalis of Team Members as it Occurs: Web design is one of the most competitive and rewarding careers, recognize the fact that Kaizen occurs in your team.
  • Encouraging Small Changes in Team and Team Efforts: Different people have a specific set of specialties, let them make the small changes that they are renowned for.
  • Sacrificing Personal Gains for the Gains of the Company: An integral part of Kaizen involves sacrifice. Sacrifice the old for the sake of the new, the personal affiliations for something better.

The GIST of Kaizen Theory:

  • Good Processes (Acquired by)
  • Individual Analysis (with Special Emphasis on)
  • The Value of Facts and Solid Data-sets. ( That let you)
  • Get to the root of the Problem (and to Establish the Fact that)
  • Teamwork is Imperative (to Deliver Effective Web Design Projects)
  • Kaizen is an Organizational Effort (Period!)

Hope this article proved to be useful in helping you determine the direction of your web design project. For more details, market competitive rates and Industry leading Design concepts; check out our web design page.


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