With very limited experience, I was assigned the project of making new websites for a private membership organization, with a restricted budget. It included general management, structuring, designing, and incorporating all aspects, in close collaboration with a small website firm. I learned some valuable lessons along the way:
1. Cut down on the information, even when you think there is nothing more to leave out.
What might be interesting for you, can be irrelevant for others. Ask externals for input. Look at which current sites are getting few clicks or browse the web to see how “hot” the topic is. Bothering viewers with unnecessary information might make them leave your webpage before doing what they were supposed to such as buying an item, call you, sign up for an event etc.
2. Make it personal. In the right way.
The trick is to offer a personal side of your company, without “showing off” with many sentences such as “our expertise”.. our services..” Make it customer oriented, by making your website solution oriented rather than “us oriented”. Remember that the websites are designed for your customers, not for you. The personal touch should include good photos of the employees, in terms of not too assertive pictures and a with a human touch. Also, avoid iStock images that does not resemble the realities of your company. Furthermore, make it easy to get in touch. Preferably with a name of someone working with this particular aspect in your company, and not a general mail@…By implementing a humble and perhaps a bit more honest style, you’ll appear more trustworthy and approachable.
3. Make the mobile version more simplified.
Many people think it is enough with a packaged responsive website deal. But making everything on your website fit for mobile use is not the way to go. Here, you should first and foremost pick out the most important parts if your business allows it: Key services, most bought products and CONTACT DETAILS on the top. People on the move also appreciate a Google map of where to find you. It is also possible to make “accelerated buttons” that e.g. says give us a call, which directly hooks the consumer up via phone. The general customer will appreciate a simplified version, where he or she can choose the scope of its contents after being presented with a soft version. It saves time.
4. Incorporate the company’s corporate and graphic profile so that it really fits.
Your firm has a long or short history. It might include a range of complex aspects or just a couple of central ones. In either case, not everything needs to be online. For example, a long and detailed history should not be placed directly on the section describing your company, unless all of it is particularly relevant. Make it an option to click your way further to read in-depth.
Also, base the website layout on your graphic profile and colours. Incorporate the main colours of your graphic profile with clear guidelines to other employees who might deal with the website, as everything needs to look consistent. If not, you’ll look less coherent and less professional.
Your website can be a consumer’s first impression of you. If you don’t come across as professional online, who will think you are professional in real life?
Strong colours can also be applied in a weaker and more transparent style, and still fit the overall profile. For example, the colour of the headlines are the same as the main colour in your logo, and sections with key points and call-to-action buttons reflect the supporting colours.
Make sure the photos you choose are in style with the graphic profile and send the same signals. Too many graphic elements and colours that does not align with your overall graphic expression will create dissonance and weaken your overall brand.
If you are also in the process of making websites, or have done it in the past, Feel free to comment or ask questions. Hope you found this post useful!