Just Another Pretty Web Site?
by Mark Goodale and Sally Giedrys
More than two-thirds of design and environmental consulting firms plan a redesign of their Web site in the coming year. But in their rush to redesign, many firms seem doomed to repeat fundamental mistakes they made on earlier versions of their site.
There are six important questions firm leaders should ask themselves when redesigning their Web site. Some successful answers to those questions are illustrated here in the work of three representative firms.
1. What do you want to want your Web site to do? Is your aim to make inroads with a new group of potential clients? Do you need to change a stodgy image? Are you trying to get the phone to ring? Do you want to make your firm look like the greatest place in the world to work?
A successful site depends on your knowing what you're trying to accomplish. If your goal is simply to get something up and running in two months, don't expect much.
2. Will you make your Web site a player in your firm's overall marketing strategy? If not, you're blowing it. Maybe you could use direct mail to refer people to your site:
Publish a monthly quiz in your newsletter and post the answers on your Web site. Conduct research through online hot-topic questions and provide immediate polling results.
3. What turns on your audience? Why not conduct brief interviews with a few of your clients to learn more about their views on Web sites? Find out what attracts them to certain sites, what keeps them coming back, and what drives them away.