UpSurge Website Development Process
So you know what's expected and what to expect.
FYI I am a marketing person who builds websites not a website person who does marketing...
Why do you want a website?
For me to create the most effective website for your business we need to start with 'why'. Websites can be:
- Online extended business cards with search engines in mind
- Admin centres so you don't have to email out the same document or give the same explanation over and over (just do a video and put it online)
- Shopfronts selling goods and services
- Training Hubs providing online education
- Galleries for amazing artwork that allows people to buy, commission or patronise creativity
- The first step in awareness & relationship building that then leads to virtual or face to face meetings
- ...I could go on but I am sure you get the idea
The way I get people to focus on what's important is to ask these questions:
What action do you most want a visitor to take as a result of visiting your site?
If they don't do that then, what action do you most want a visitor to take?
Manage your Image
We all love beautiful things and your website will fulfil it's objectives more effectively if it's an attractive place to be (shallow but true..). This means:
- Colour Combinations
- Imagery - pics of your product or service, pics of you (if appropriate), industry related pics, inspiring backgrounds to create a great atmosphere etc. Don't worry if you don't have these - there are some great website with free images or I can make you some in photoshop
If you have been in business a while you will have an established 'identity' for your business. Your website needs to reinforce this to support brand recognition - visitor need to make the link between business cards, adverts, websites - basically anywhere you appear. Repetition builds know, like and trust as long as it all looks professional and consistent.
If you don't have these identity elements sorted we can work together on this which might including commissioning a logo specialist (it's an important job with lots of sub-conscious signals to consider around colour and shape most appropriate for your industry).
Words of Wisdom, Persuasion & Inspiration
We are a wordy species - we talk, we write, we sign...chances are your site will have words in it!
Some words are practical:
- Contact details - phone number, address, email (if appropriate)
Some words are waxing lyrical:
- Product or service features and benefits
- About you and your business
- Testimonials for social proof
Some words are technical:
- UA code for tracking with Google Analytics
- API code for linking to your email list service
Again. if you have been in business a while you will have an established 'voice' for your business and we can re-use what you have already. If not we can work on this together.
Design for Effect
Some stuff in website works best if it is 'prototypical' ie. people expect it to be a certain way eg. shopping cart lives in the top right of the screen. Other stuff has the maximum impact if it's a bit querky.
If people are confused or have to think too hard they will leave...bummer, because they are very unlikely to come back...ever. Are we lazy and hate feeling confused? Maybe but there are over 1 billion websites online so they have a few alternatives to choose from.
Designing for website is not 'flat' like it is on paper, it's interactive and 'alive'. To cater for this I do my initial design in your website so you can see and play with it and give the most informed feedback about how it looks and behaves.
Generally what you see on a page is in two groups - static bits that are visible on all pages & variable bits that change depending on the page you visit. See below:
Beware the 'Fiddle Factor'
Because you have so many variable to play with - colours, icons, images, spacing around and between elements...you can get caught 'Fiddling' with a page that function fine for hours. To combat the temptation I set a limit of 2 rounds of fiddling.
Some people are more susceptible than other - perfectionists you know who you are. As a recovering perfectionist I feel your pain... I combat my temptation to fiddle by asking if this is the best way to sustainably make the impact I care about making...the answer is invariably 'Hell no!'.
Of course if there is something dodgy like a misalignment or spelling error I will deal with it prono. Consider yourself warned - the 'Fiddle Factor' can be as addictive as face-sucking (this is way my husband calls wasting time on facebook).