Three keys to happiness for your new website - part two

Let's continue to examine the three keys to happiness most businesses overlook at the very beginning of a web project.

Happiness key number two – put on your fighting shoes

After you’ve selected your web professional (or designated an in-house team member to do the work), it’s time to start fighting. Web projects are complex and have many moving parts. Each movement presents the opportunity to lose focus. Fight for focus!
      If you hire a web developer, you will need to constantly fight to keep your purpose, your needed actions and your supporting information in focus. Web developers know web but know nothing at all about your business or mission purpose. Web developers focus on their purpose – to look good to their peers and prospective customers – and will completely lose focus on your needs. Fight back!
      If you do it yourself, your ego, lack of customer perspective and personal idiosyncrasies will push you to make a site that looks good to you but not to your prospective visitors.  Most business owners and service providers are not in their own target markets, which means a do-it-yourself developer has a very poor understanding of customer needs. Fight your ego!

Here are a few additional fighting topics.
  • Fight ‘F menu’ syndrome – F menus were those old link lists that went across the top and down the side of an old ‘home page’ to link the visitors to additional content.  Don’t do that. Keep all your content on one page. Use the new agile templates if you need more screen space but don’t waste your time on menus – your visitors certainly won’t.
  • Never, ever use clip art or stock photos – these are great for mock ups or building scammer sites but have absolutely no role in a quality web presence. What the customer, client or patient is really buying is you, not a stock photo. Give your visitors lots of you. Show your team in action and decorate your site with lots and lots of you. Anything less is a waste of screen space.
  • Flash is for selling trash – resist those video splashes, moving slide shows and other visual garbage that are often used make websites look like video games. These elements always look great on the developer’s demo and are really exciting the first time these effects appear. Unfortunately, these graphic elements quickly become annoying as visitors return.
     Stay tuned for happiness key number three, coming up next!
     Want to learn more about effective sites? Call Kevin, your web-literate business adviser at (360) 447-8788

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