What is online branding and how can corporate websites become an effective brand touch-point? continued…
Ten corporate website design tips you shouldn't miss
Its Sunday today and delivering on my promise on the previous post about corporate website design and converting the website into an effective brand touch-point, so the rest of the post is here. Enjoy reading and don't forget to comment on what you think don't qualify as a tip or if you have one do share it with me on my blog.
1) Goals Goals and Goal
Usually the first point of discussion with the teams responsible for developing the website is DESIGN. The management is too busy and wants the mock-up first. This is the point where the website start taking a shape of a monster which is beyond the control of its master. To start with just answer raise a simple question with your team “What is that we want our website to do ?”. Make list & arrange and align your answers with your organizational goal. Make this as your checklist.
DESIGN SHOULD BE THE LAST THING ON YOUR LIST.
2) Who is your audience
Knowing as to who will be your audience helps you align your business goals well. Spend some time in researching about your target audience in terms of there demography, profession, preferences, age-group etc. This will help you in deciding about you content, design, marketing and other aspects.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE WELL
3) Don't confuse your visitor
Do your remember any instance where you had this heady feeling of being lost on a website? Some corporate websites are great in design and content but loose on the navigation front. This leaves the visitor with a bad taste. So a well defined navigation structure is like having a clear direction and a smooth road to reach your destination.A site map can be a good guide to your website, especially if you have lots to say. Someone who quickly finds what he or she is looking for is more likely to return.
Have an easy and simple navigation and provide a site map
4) Think of the customer experience
Treat your website visitor like the way you will treat them if they walk into your office. Have a clean and aesthetic landing pages for each of your product or service sections. also make sure that you listen to them by providing the query form and phone numbers so if they don't find anything on the website they know how to contact. Also try and create a separate customer service page. Click here to know how HP has done that.
Create a wonderful customer experience online.
5) Design matters a lot.
Ok now bring out your designers and give them a chance to earn there piece of bread :). The corporate website design process should start from creating a style guide to be followed for the entire website. The idea is to keep it simple, clean and using color where it is required. Usability is also an important aspect that should be take care off over here.
Make your design simple and functional.
6) Make it sound good
While developing your corporate website design, devote special care to the copy. Writing for web is different from print. It should have the problem-solution approach and should convey the message quickly and precisely. People don't have so much time to read all the yada yada. If there’s too much content, it’s a good idea to split it across two pages – no one likes to scroll down too long, and never from side to side!
Keep it short and sweet
7) Browser compatibility
Ensure that your website runs fairly well on at least the popular browsers. So it will be really good to keep three or four popular browser in mind while developing the website. You must keep a good amount of time for testing the website.
Site should work well with at least the popular browsers.
8) Have an error page (404)
The idea is to have a custom 404 page because it makes to let your user know that they have reached the right site but may not be the right page. Ideally place a query form there and link to the site map, so that they can place a query or go to the desired section. Also place a link to the home page prominently.
Design a custom 404 page
10) Help me with the 10th one
The tenth tip is to ask your stakeholders, existing customers, external consultants to have a ring side view of the proceedings. Believe me it helps a lot.
And i request you to help me as well in finding more tips and refining the existing by answering the questions that i placed on my linkedin profile. You can view what others have to say about this by going here.
Some good corporate website design example are:-
1) Microsoft 2) SAP 3) Nestle 4) Barclays 5) Sony
I am working towards a post which will have views from some of the experts of the field who have answered the same question that i have placed on various social networks.
Thank you all who have been answering those question passionately. If you have any query leave a message on my blog.