Achieve better website performance using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Here at WordCamp US, Steve Persch reveals how web teams can standardize and automate the levels of Marlow’s hierarchy of needs to achieve their goals. Using these tools at any level of the hierarchy can build on a stable foundation and focus upwards towards conversion. 

Like you, Steve Persch knows the pain of trying to juggle different developmental priorities. Steve is a developer with over 13 years’ experience in building WordPress and Drupal sites. “There are always new requests for more functionality, fresh redesigns, and bug fixing”. You need to increase conversions on top of keeping the websites maintained, which may be conflicting at times. Hence why Steve wants to present a way to organize these priorities – the hierarchy of needs for high-performing websites.

Steve Persch

It’s easier to organize these developmental priorities when you view them as building blocks on top of the other. During his funny WordCamp US 2019 lightning session, Steve used Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a metaphor. Effectively highlighting how web teams leverage solid foundations and standardization in all hierarchy levels to move their focus upwards to the conversion stage.

Maslow’s hierarchy applied to website performance

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a 1943 theory. This sees people motivated by five basic needs: physiological, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

At the base, you’ll find the building blocks, which are physiological and safety needs. Things like food, water, health and money, as these are hard to function without. On top of that there is belonging – a community of friends and family, then self-esteem and respect. At the top, you’ll find self actualization, the real purpose. Are you reaching your full potential?

Maslow's hierarchy o fneeds applied to website performance and conversion

In the same way, we can look at a website’s hierarchy of needs. At the bottom, we have the servers running, because without servers, there can be no website at all. Next is safety, you need to keep the ship afloat. Can you get hacked? Will you get a traffic spike that will break something?

Moving further up, there is compliance. Are we compliant with the things we need to be compliant with? Regulations, and so on? Next is quality, especially important since we need to provide the best experience to the user. Also, there is so much noise online that standing out with good quality websites just makes sense from a business perspective.

However at the top there is always conversion. Similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the apex of the pyramid is the main purpose. This is the reason that your website exists in the first place – conversions. So collectively, we should be aiming to satisfy the need at the top of the pyramid.

WebOps is a team sport

WebOps people - a team sport

Steve specified again that this is not a hierarchy of people, but a hierarchy of needs.  Members of a WebOps team can exist on various or multiple levels of the hierarchy of needs. Each can do their job perfectly, but ultimately their processes and goals should be aligned from the bottom upwards.

“Perfect execution won’t fix a broken culture.” - Steve Persch

These WebOps practices and standardizations are better done as a group.

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