How to get started with your new website?

So you’re about to re-design your website – where do you get started?

The first question is: what’s the purpose of this makeover, in other words (and it could be cruel and painful) – what’s wrong with your current website? What is missing?  What do you want to change and why? The best way to address that is talk to many stakeholders inside and outside of your organization and get their opinions on what’s wrong. Based on these discussions you can begin to form some key objectives of the project and describe what success will look like.  

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The next step is to look around. What do companies like yours have in their websites; make sure to also check companies smaller / bigger / different than you; what do your competitors’ sites look like?  Customer sites? Take a look at some industry trends and determine which are right for you. Hopefully you are ready to decide where you want to take your site.

And now go down to the details: what underlying technology platform are you using today and do you need any new WCM (Web Content Management) system like Acquia/Drupal or Adobe to support your new objectives?; Site structure and navigation – do they reflect your companies’ current objectives and growth areas and support where you want to go? Is your content professional, fresh, relevant and engaging? Do you have the right processes to keep it that way?

In the next series of posts I will look deeper into each one of these dimensions – so come back to learn more, but in the meantime let me challenge you – can you share with me your favorite web site and tell me what do you like about it and why it’s so great.  

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Which device do you use when ?

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Forrester Research claims that nearly 25% of adults in the US are online with three or more devices, and 2/3 of US online adults own 2 or more connected devices. How and when are they using their devices ?

My friend Robert Webb @robertjohnwebb re-twitted an interesting article by Marketingprofs that shows that North Americans use their tablets most in the late evening and least in the early hours of the morning. 

I recently visited LinkedIn offices in San-Francisco and heard about an interesting research they did with completely opposite findings re how people use the LinkedIn app: they claim most people use their tablet in the morning (and then prefer newspaper like applications that are more about content), use their desktop 9-5 and the mobile phone device is always-on …

Whether the first research is correct or the second, to me the real question here is how should you design your corporate web site so that you can take advantage of your visitors mobile behavior?

The first step should be research – every web site is different in the nature of the users that come to it, when they come and with which devices, and of-course what are they doing. Based on the results you can make some conscious decisions about creating a mobile app or looking into responsive design.

That’s exactly what we’re doing right now.