Are you about to launch yet another web redesign project? If so, think again.
One of the reasons organisational websites fester and decay is because companies are good at projects and poor at iteration.
Most organisations like to think in terms of clearly defined projects. In many ways this makes a lot of sense. Projects are easily quantifiable in terms of the budget, resources and time involved. It is easier to find budget and resources for finite projects rather than ongoing investment.
This is why redesign projects are so common within web design. Organisations love them because they have a clearly defined scope and provide an easily identified deliverable.
In short, for specific investment you can see a tangible change.
The dream of every marketeer is to make their message universally accessible to consumers. With the arrival of mobile devices that access the web is promises to be a reality. However, supporting all of these devices is going to be expensive unless we radically change our thinking.
The problem is that this kind of reach gets expensive. TV commercials, billboard ads and magazine advertorials all mount up. It’s just not possible to be that ubiquitous. It’s not possible to provide consumers access to information about you instantly wherever they are.
At least it wasn’t until mobile devices came along that allowed people web access wherever they were.
This week saw the launch of the much hyped Mailbox iOS app. Unfortunately, this launch did not go as smoothly as planned and the backlash raises some interesting questions.
If you have ever paid for anything online you will know that web customer service sucks.
As soon as anything goes wrong and you need support, the quality of service almost always takes a turn for the worse.
A new year is a great opportunity to pause and take stock. It is a chance to look at how your digital offering evolved over the last year and what opportunities are ahead for 2013.
First, lets look back at last year. How much of your time was spent actively planning the future of your site as opposed to reacting to circumstances and requests for change? Did your digital strategy have clear leadership or was it shaped by events?
What about this coming year? Do you have a clear roadmap for development over the next year? Are things on that roadmap because they will help achieve clear business objectives? How are you going to measure the success or otherwise of your roadmap?
Finally do you have staff in place, not only for the ongoing management of your site, but to think and plan strategically over the long term?
When you post content online, does it have associated calls-to-action? Do you show advertising? Are you sure users are seeing these things?
Unfortunately many users may never see your carefully crafted website, because that is not how they are accessing your content.
Content has stopped being constrained to our sites and we need to adapt.
In my last post, I claimed you were one employee away from a successful site. I suggested that the employee was an editor-in-chief.
A person who would oversee your online presence, set its direction, implement its roadmap and ensure its quality.
So what makes a great online editor?
Imagine you could improve your search engine rankings, increase user engagement, gain real returns from your CMS, cause a jump in conversions and have a positive impact on brand perception?
Imagine how that would transform your online presence.
Believe it or not, many organisations are just a single employee away from making this a reality. All they need is an online editor.
For the last few years we have seen an explosion in consumer web apps. We have seen LinkedIn valued at more than $4bn following its IPO and others like Groupon looking to follow suit.
Without a doubt web apps that target the public are all the rage, but they are not the end of the story. There is also hidden potential in business to business web apps.
As web designers we can only do so much for you the client. You can have the best website in the world, but if your customer service stinks users won't come back.
I went to meet with a new client yesterday and was blown away by their commitment to customer service. Not only had they addressed every one of their customers' points of pain, they had gone above and beyond in so many ways.