If you already have a website, we can perform an evaluation and produce a series of recommendations to improve the performance and effectiveness of your site for your key user types. We've an established working relationship with a team of experienced consultants, including designers, technologists, optimisation specialists, and writers.
Overview phase • taking a critical look
This evaluation looks at the overall functionality and features of the site, such as:
- The value of content to meet the needs of your primary and secondary users, and understanding their expectations from your site.
- The navigation to ensure consistency, ease of use, and a sense of intuitiveness.
- Accessibility (browser, platform), graphic & page load times, server reliability, etc.
- Design, including the aesthetics, use of color, images, layout and composition, fonts, buttons, and menu design.
- Information content, such as the hyperlinks, current content, writing style for your target audience (primary and secondary), and accuracy.
- Search Engine Optimization, to make sure you're using the most effective methodology, including page titles, links, keywords and page content.
- Capturing information for a customer database.
- Does the site deliver a customer (user) experience that differentiates your brand.
New websites • the fundamentals
If you're looking to build a website for the first time, then it's important to appreciate some fundamentals. A site with a stunning home page with poor underlying architecture may look good, but could end up being a classic case of form over function. A site that has great useful content that's impossible to find, quickly becomes useless! Think about how to make the navigation intuitive, in other words - buttons appear where they feel they should be, where the user would expect to find them.
In summary, a good website:
- Should be both useful and usable. This is what's called user-centered design. The result is an effective, compelling, and usable website where you have the right balance between features, functionality, and ease of navigation.
- Should communicate your core message and content clearly to your identified target market(s), with credible, original content in as many forms as possible.
- Should have a high impact, both visually and technically to ensure you're continuously building brand recognition and loyalty.
- Should initiate an interactive relationship with the user to encourage them to come back, which makes your site memorable forging an emotional connection.
- Should provide valuable, timely information to the user - not a lot of useless data!
- Should be updated regularly with new content to ensure it's continuously indexed.
So before we start, we'll work with you to:
- Study the competition - evaluate the best of breed.
- Understand your potential audience (your users) and their needs, if necessary by creating persona profiles for each user type.
- Decide on the most appropriate platform.
- Create a structured approach to the information architecture (how users will move through the site), by creating a map illustrating the IA.
- Select the right metaphors (organizational, functional and visual).
- Choose the best resolution (screen sizes).
- Develop layout grids and mock ups, using wire framing to plot potential paths through the site that meet user intentions.
- Write/edit the content.
- Build the back-end (supporting database to capture visitor information).
- Build, test, and finally launch.
- Update regularly to keep your site optimisation effective.
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