Thursday, March 25, 2010

Building your website. Taking it to the next level.

You're rebuilding the new website. Are there some rules you should be aware of? Things to avoid? Absolutely.

Rule 1
Sitemap is king.

Refocus your sitemap to ensure it reflects your current focus of business. If you have added services don't punch them on to your webpage as an ad on like a sticky note. At Ontrack we call it "re-funneling". Your sitemap is the equivalent of a blueprint for a house. You wouldn't start building if you hadn't made the determinations on what the house was going to look like, where the rooms are and how it will work best for ease of access for you and your family. A sitemap serves the same purpose. Don't be in a rush to dive into your website.

Take the sitemap for a test drive. Put it into a graphic form with major categories and enough detail of the content that it really starts to make sense and take shape. Bounce it through the major decision makers to ensure you've clearly prioritized company sell channels and that the key selling propositions are clearly stated.

Rule 2
Choose your colours wisely.
Don't choose black and white just because it looks cool. Similarly don't feel you have to be boring and choose ultra conservative themes. Try out your color choices on a mix of people before you get too far into your design.

Use colours to re-enforce the brand. Use colours to separate important ideas so it guides the eyes in conversion directions you are desire.
Try the colours on for size. Here is a link that allows you to see various web colours side by side.

You can type in the Hex # for your established brand colour(s) and try out other colours beside them. Get a 2nd and 3rd opinion but most importantly, trust your gut.

Rule 3
Design. You talkin' to me?
The colours above roll into rule #3. What is the flavour you're going for visually? What fonts will you choose with the colours? Will the logo work nicely with your choices? Let your competition be your first benchmark. See what they're doing. Then research non competitive sites that are going after the same demographic and psychographic. It's like trying on a new shirt, or dress. Do a screen grab, drop your logo onto the site. If the immediate reaction is, yes I can see myself walking down the street with this, add that site to your design palette. You don't want to copy another site. You do want to feed it into the creative well, let it gestate with other visuals and ideas and the end choices for YOUR site will start to become very clear and unique.

Tomorrow is Creative Excellence Fridays. Please join us for a celebration of creative. Monday we'll resume with building your dream website - tips to take you to the next level.

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