What is Momentum Design?

By Elliot Olson

Studio Anansi Founder & Website Designer

| studio anansi

We live in a world of specialists. For every issue you encounter, there’s an expert to call.

  • Roof leak? Contact the roofing company.
  • Suspicious sound in your car? Visit a mechanic.
  • New ache in your body? Time to see a doctor.

But what do you do when your business has a problem? 

When it comes to your business, you may be wondering how to translate the feeling that “something is wrong” into a firm diagnosis.

Enter the new framework: Momentum Design.

I developed the Momentum Design framework after years of hearing clients feel frustrated or stuck with their business. They knew that something was wrong — but they weren’t quite sure how to articulate or fix the issues.

My clients generally fall into one (or more) of three categories. Which one sounds most familiar to you?

BROKEN SYSTEMS

Many of my clients were losing opportunities. For some, important messages were vanishing or going overlooked in unattended inboxes. For others, they didn’t realize that their customer rewards program wasn’t working. In all cases, they were disappointed and frustrated by missing out on crucial sales and growth.

PIECEMEAL OPERATIONS

Other clients felt like their businesses were cobbled together. They were tired of constantly putting out fires, and they worried about which failing part would bring the whole operation to a halt. They were losing sleep (and dedicating way too much of their precious time) to thinking about which of their systems needed to be fixed and wondering what wasn’t working in the background.

UNPROFESSIONAL PRESENTATION

A final category of clients felt like their business wasn’t professional enough. Instead of feeling “legit,” they were embarrassed by their neglected social media profiles, missing email signatures, and outdated online presence.

Business owners in each of these categories knew that something was wrong — but they weren’t sure how to fix their problems.

Instead of feeling confident and excited about their business, they felt overwhelmed and stressed.

Their experiences planted the seeds for a new framework.

I wanted a tool to identify and address a wide range of business issues. A framework to identify and help businesses that were “stuck.”

My solution: Momentum Design.

Momentum Design is the signature Studio Anansi framework.

With three phases and five principles, Momentum Design informs our approach to all projects. In fact, it’s the basis for our Elevated Experience service.

Why is it called Momentum Design? 

Because it gets you out of feeling “stuck.”

And once you start moving, you’ll find that your forward momentum continues to build.

Three Phases of Momentum Design

Momentum Design works in three stages:

  1. Diagnose your challenges
  2. Implement solutions
  3. Build resilience in your business

Explore

This phase is where most businesses begin. It lays the groundwork for strong growth built on a solid foundation. During the Explore phase, we articulate your goals for your business, review and inventory all your digital assets, and map where your business can improve.

Elevate

This phase is when we execute your new plan. It’s all about creating feelings of ease and confidence in both your customer experiences and your admin processes. In this phase, we implement the improvements mapped in Phase One, including consolidating your tech tools and streamlining your systems.

Expand

The third phase focuses on developing resilience and supporting your business expansion. By the time we get to this phase, we’ve dealt with your urgent issues and can look to your future. During this phase, we revisit your business goals, leverage your unique opportunities, and strategize your growth.

Five Principles of Momentum Design

Five words summarize Momentum Design principles:

  1. Strategic
  2. Holistic
  3. Inquisitive
  4. Streamlined
  5. Dynamic

Momentum Design begins with strategy.

Much like our signature Future Planning Website Design process, Momentum Design is centered around YOU. We focus on your goals, your tools, and your unique business conditions.

Our work begins with the end in mind. Together, we identify and articulate your goals — minus the vanity metrics or fluff.

I find that many people (even other website designers and strategists) focus on metrics such as page views, link clicks, and Instagram followers. There’s a time and a place for these metrics, but I have found that it’s more valuable to focus in the early stages on metrics that actually accomplish your goals.

Focusing prematurely on the wrong goals will dilute your efforts, create frustration, and delay your success. In other words, the early pursuit of “having [x] number of followers” or “[y] percent higher traffic” can take your attention away from the goals that really matter.

You may find yourself spending enormous amounts of time and money on metrics that don’t move the needle for your business. It’s always upsetting for me to talk with a business owner who really needs sales, but they’ve been convinced to spend thousands of dollars and countless hours on things like social media strategies or new tech…only to find that their follower numbers have grown, yet their sales haven’t kept pace.

Instead of vanity metrics, I focus on the goals that really make a difference for you — whether that’s selling products, booking new clients, driving webinar registrations, or another goal unique to you.

No matter what type of business you run, we start by focusing on your goals, audience, and conditions — without wasting time on fluff.

Momentum Design is holistic.

Momentum Design knows that everything is connected. It acknowledges that improvements to your external (public) systems must go hand in hand with improvements to internal (admin) systems. Otherwise, you risk alienating your audience and driving them away from your business.

When updates to your business are made in isolation, they feel out of place and disconnected. In the long run, these disparate elements result in systems that are confusing (for your audience) and unsustainable (for you).

For example, consider a business with a sleek, active online presence — but sorely lacking admin processes. New lead inquiries go into a spare inbox that staff rarely remember to check, and their current clients are missing months of backlogged commnication.

The result?

Potential customers are left waiting for days before receiving responses…by which time, they’ve forgotten about their inquiry or even moved on to another business. Meanwhile, current customers are frustrated by the lack of clear steps or expectations.

On the other hand, consider a company with the opposite problem. Their website is dated and clunky, but their service processes are incredible. Although clients love working with them, the company has a hard time acquiring new leads. Their growth is stunted as potential clients are continually frustrated by their outdated online presence.

In both cases, the companies need to look at the holistic big picture.

Instead of leaving one aspect of their business to languish, Momentum Design can help them update their systems across the board — building trust with their audiences and elevating them on all fronts.

Momentum Design asks you to be inquisitive and think from your audience’s perspective.

Momentum Design requires thinking from your audience’s perspective. It means looking at your processes and customer journey with fresh eyes.

We aim to answer questions before your customers even have to ask. This approach can uncover simple solutions to problems that seem large and complex at first glance.

For example, one of my clients recently lamented that their employees were spending too much time on administrative busy work. As I evaluated how we could address this issue, I discovered that these hours were spent answering the same questions over and over. Potential clients were contacting the company to ask about three things:

  1. Timeline and availability
  2. Project scope
  3. How to get started

Looking at the company’s website from the perspective of a new customer, I identified opportunities to quickly answer these questions for prospective clients. As a result, customers can now find answers without tedious back-and-forth messaging. Plus, the staff can use saved hours to complete other projects and deliver an even more exceptional customer experience with their current clients (aka build loyalty and inspire referrals).

At the end of the day, Momentum Design believes that your customers should always be impressed by your business systems — and that requires thinking from your customer’s perspective. By asking questions with an open mind, we help deliver a consistent, elevated experience to your audience.

Momentum Design seeks to streamline systems.

Momentum Design streamlines your business and customer systems. In fact, we’ll almost always opt for streamlined over complex processes.

We’ve repeatedly seen how complex systems with many parts also have many points of failure. And those points of failure eventually will indeed fail.

This is another area where we disagree with some systems specialists and web designers. Instead of touting the cheapest solution or easiest tool, we prefer to recommend and implement processes that minimize points of failure.

For example, I often talk with clients about which website platform is best for their business. Recently, a business needed to create an online shop and integrate it with their marketing email.

  • Platform #1 cost $5 monthly. It would have required another $5 in plugins to sell products, plus $3 monthly to sync with their marketing emails. The total = $13 total monthly.
  • Platform #2 cost $30 monthly. It included an e-commerce shop and email marketing integration.

Platform #2 would cost the business an additional $17 each month (aka over $200 annually). Despite that higher cost, I recommended that platform.

Why?

Because Platform #2 reduces the likelihood of future failures. It’s more likely to be sustainable, since it uses native functions instead of relying on third-party plugins. Yes, it looks more expensive on paper — but it just takes a few failures for Platform #1 to start racking up expensive developer costs. Saving $17 per month isn’t worth gambling with hours of expensive tech fixes down the road.

Besides reducing points of failure, streamlining your systems can also reduce overhead costs. You may be able to cancel a subscription when another platform adds new features.

Plus, streamlining reduces the amount of time you have to spend keeping track of assets, such as old digital accounts. How many of us have discovered a forgotten social media profile with the an old logo and outdated information? Or even worse…an old account with DMs that you never received because that platform slipped off your radar?

We don’t want you to wate your precious time and energy on missed messages, inconsistent presentation, or trying to keep track of outdated accounts. Instead, Momentum Design focuses on streamlining systems for both you and your audience — saving your sanity and helping you provide a more consistent experience for clients.

Momentum Design encourages dynamic, continual evaluation.

Finally, Momentum Design is dynamic. It encourages continual evaluation and updates, especially when it comes to your goals.

This review and revision is part of our emphasis on strategy. We believe that your business strategy shouldn’t be set-it-and-forget-it. Instead, your strategy should evolve as your business, audience, and systems develop.

If you don’t allow your strategy and goals to change, your growth will feel haphazard and misaligned with your current needs.

I know firsthand how using outdated goals to create future plans is a recipe for frustration and burnout. In the early stages of my business, I was guilty of aiming for old goals — and feeling frustrated when accomplishing those goals didn’t bring the results and growth I expected.

At the same time, I always felt busy and overwhelmed. I used to think I needed constant breaks from my business. What I really needed was a more targeted approach that let me focus on realistic goals, not on my outdated wishlist from months (or even years) prior.

Do you feel like you’ve been spinning your wheels without making meaningful progress?

Are you hitting your goals, but not seeing the results you expected?

If so, take it from me – as you grow more frustrated with the lack of progress, you’ll probably start to feel burnout, too.

That’s why Momentum Design encourages dynamic, ongoing revision. It asks you to set updated goals, instead of wasting resources on old milestones that don’t reflect your current business plans and needs.

Key Takeaways of Momentum Design

  1. Momentum Design is a comprehensive framework to diagnose issues, implement solutions, and build resilience in your business.
  2. Momentum Design focuses on sustainable, lasting solutions. It doesn’t limit itself to quick fixes.
  3. Momentum Design begins with strategy. Rather than vanity metrics, it focuses on goals that truly matter to your success.
  4. Momentum Design is holistic. Improvements to your external (public) systems must go hand in hand with improvements to internal (admin) systems.
  5. Momentum Design means being inquisitive and thinking from your audience’s perspective. It aims to wow your audience by answering the questions they haven’t yet thought to ask.
  6. Momentum Design seeks to streamline systems. By reducing potential points of failure, it decreases your admin workload and provides a more impressive experience for your customers.
  7. Momentum Design is dynamic, just like your audience and business. To avoid burnout and wasted resources, your strategy must continually evolve.

Ready to streamline, elevate, and build resilience in your business?

The Elevated Experience uses Momentum Design to identify and repair challenges in your business.

Get in touch today for current availability.

| studio anansi | studio anansi | studio anansi | studio anansi | studio anansi | studio anansi | studio anansi | studio anansi

Get the inside scoop.

Receive Elliot’s weekly emails of website tips and system insights.

By entering your information, you agree to receive emails from Studio Anansi. You can opt-out at any time.

Services & Pricing Guide

Download the guide now.

Join Us

Systems strategy & web tips straight to your inbox.