Effective Websites Are No Accident
If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit (sometimes reluctantly?) that we already knew this.
This short brief is meant to shed some light on just a few of the elements that go into making a website effective. And yes, that means your website.
It’s not intended to be an exhaustive study — doing that would require several books. Besides, some really smart people have already done just that (here’s one that we like on the topic of content strategy).
In today’s online world, a successful website begins with a clearly defined, yet fluid, strategy.
Expect things to change along the way — stay flexible, yet focused.
All too often, people begin without a clear idea of just what they hope to accomplish with their website.
When that happens, even the best efforts at establishing an online presence can end in some big disappointments all around.
Having a website is one thing. Building one with an effective strategy will put you squarely at the front of the crowd.
Start with a Purpose
From the outset, define a clear purpose. It could be as simple as selling a product or as complex as building a social network for a specific niche. This simple exercise (defining a clear purpose) will shape the scope and direction of your online presence while providing a foundation for your entire strategy.
Content is the starting point for everything. Without first rate content, design is nothing more than decoration. Your content should be geared towards one person — the user. Keep the focus on the user and how to engage that user with your site’s purpose by developing an effective content strategy.
Design and the Bottom Line
Opinions on good design can vary — sometimes radically. Good design will get the job done. Great design draws users in, immerses them in your site and elegantly invites them to join with you in fulfilling your site’s purpose. Properly executed design sets you apart and positions you squarely ahead of the competition.
Focus on the User
Often, we forget that our websites are used by real human beings. By making the user our top priority, we strive to provide a seamless, intuitive experience that enhances success and makes the user want to return often. Engaging users creates value, increases retention and maximizes your site’s value.