Tag Archives: website design

How much website do you need? – part 2

Design for the results you need

There are a ton of beautiful websites which have been carefully constructed by skilled web designers and yet their  owners are not getting the service or the results they expected.

There are some basic axioms about results: You have to specify what results you want beforehand. Then, you have to measure what you achieved or it is all guesswork.

Let’s take a look at the kind of website that needs to show current content to attract visitors. One of the best examples is the website for a restaurant. The owner wants to show off the unique features of the place, the menu, and upcoming events. When the website is first constructed, it usually does a great job in all three areas.

One month later, the menu and the list of events is out of date. Two months later, the site is up to date for a week and then the list of events and the menu is stale.

Over a period of a year, the website might actually present correct information for ten weeks out of fifty two. The website may be graphically interesting, but it is not useful as a source of information.

Whose fault is this? Not the web designer necessarily, he can only update the site when new information is available. The restaurant owner? Perhaps. She has many fish to fry and updating the website is not at the top of the list, even when a crisis-free moment actually occurs.

Updating the site requires writing copy and taking pictures, sending an email to the webmaster with the new information and specific remarks on what has to be deleted or revised.

The webmaster has to schedule the change and then do it. If he is really organized, he will send an email notifying the restaurant owner that the changes are made.

When the restaurant owner finally gets around to looking at the site again, she notices that one of the changes is not right and the cycle starts all over again. Two people are involved in a cycle that can take several days.

Doesn’t this remind you of what it took to write and send a letter in the pre-wordprocessing, pre-email days? This old-fashioned approach is no longer necessary with some of the web publishing tools that are now available.

To learn more:

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How much website do you need? – 1st of a series

That question is shorthand for, "How good does the presentation have to be to make the desired impression on a prospective customer?"

Here is the short answer:

The technical quality of the presentation has to be good enough that it creates an emotional impact, but doesn’t get in the way of the message.

Any more than that and the presentation draws attention away from the message.

It can be overwhelming to make choices about the technology and the quality of the presentation that can be used to market your product on the Internet or anywhere else. If we start with the message to be communicated and the audience to be reached with this message, then the choices of technology and presentation quality are somewhat simplified.

If you spend time developing your message and your product to meet the needs of qualified buyers, your choices of marketing presentations will become clearer.

For specific examples on how this might apply, keep reading after the jump.

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