With the omnipresence of websites and the Internet, you would think we would all know how to specify and design a productive website. If that was the case, we would be out of business. There are still some very poor websites around which are the result of poor design brief and lack of focus on usability, traffic generation, and user experience.
The best way to avoid a website design disaster, is to understand what a website is not! Yes you heard right. First you must understand what a website is not for, before you can create a good website. It never fails to amaze me how many “Website Briefs” I see, that show people still do not get websites.
These briefs are really brief! Data Protection and good manners prevents me to share them with you, but here is a general gist:
We want an attractive website with “X” number of pages, slider at the top, contact page, product page, and about us page!
This is all we have to go with, so no information about what kind of market, kind of products, segmentation, target customer, target keywords, number of products, ability to order online or not, example of websites they like or a design brief!! So not a lot of thought gone into this one, and probably thought up whilst stock in a traffic jam somewhere.
Everyone expects website content to be without spelling mistake and make sense, but nobody is going to read all that writing and word-smithing. Average stay on a website home page is 15 second with average time on secondary pages around 35 seconds. So forget all that wannabe Shakespearian attempts and get to the point. You don’t have much time. This is speed-dating!
Remember the old saying of KISS? Same applies to website design and functionality. So no moving flash images, no music (oh please god No, No, No), and no funky navigation keys. Remember your website frontend design is like a joke, if you have to explain it then it is not funny. Average click on a website is 3 click and exit, so any key subject/product must not be beyond 3 (obvious) clicks.
Of course your website must look professional, have style and panache, but you must first aim for attracting traffic and functionality if you want your website to produce revenue or leads. It must be easy to navigate, logical in structure, information should be readily available, navigation must make sense to visitors and Search Engines.
In order to get your functionality right follow these steps:
Good design is not just about the colour, widgets and where pretty buttons go. Good design is driven by content and logical structure. Grouping subjects under logical headings which in turn allows you to create logical navigation. This is key to ease of navigation and functionality.
To get your functionality correct follow these steps:
Lastly, but most importantly, do not expect people with specific skills to be able to excel at other tasks (the Jack of all Trades and Master of None Brigade). You have creative people and you have excellent code writers. Very rarely would you come across one that can do both. In all the years of being involved in website projects, I have only come across one person that can do both tasks. The chances of you coming across “The One” is near zero.
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