Welcome back for part II and hints and tips on how to devise a brief to carry out a website review.
Without wishing to hark back to one of the many times that I have said you need to start with a plan, it is important to know what you want to achieve from your review so therefore the first thing you need to know is:
What is the objective of the web review, what are you trying to achieve?
This is going to vary from company to company and could be any one of many things so I will just focus on the most common requests we receive and the strategies we employ and questions we ask and endeavour to answer in order to achieve the clients’ objective or objectives. I will just warn you now, whilst I was doing my preparation for this installment of the blog trilogy I realised that perhaps I had been a bit hasty by condemning my musings to a mere three parts. In actual fact I feel it would have been more realistic of me to make this a four-parter from the offset…so I’m doing that now, consider this part I of part II.
Now where was I, yes, the types of website update requests we receive…
A content refresh
Whether this is mainly from a visual perspective, or is a content based project, you need to have a clear and consistent tone that will not compromise the brand. This ‘theme’ can then be applied to all the other areas that will naturally need addressed to make the refresh cohesive such as pages, images, and informative content. So start at the beginning with the building blocks of:
Which pages need a refresh?
What is the message or messages you want to convey?
Does the content need amending, optimised or started from scratch?
Once answered these will then allow you to expand and ask more in-depth questions and make educated decisions such as:
Can the number of pages be reduced by combining any?
Do you need to add any pages to be clearer?
Implement a site map and navigation that is simple yet effective
Choose words your target audience will understand
You will now have a clear and defined path to follow and an objective to achieve.
Making a site seasonal
Seasonality is a factor in lots of industries nowadays from fashion and food to transport and travel and must be acknowledged and handled accordingly.
When asked to make a site ‘seasonal’ we initially start with a general review of the site, mainly to check if anything is glaringly out of place i.e. is it the middle of winter and there is a large image of sunglasses on the home page?! Then we proceed by ascertaining what products or services the client offers that are immediately recognised as being seasonal or solve a problem or issue associated with a season. This gives a starting point and then lets us concentrate on conveying the USPs of the product or service and how it can be potentially linked to other products or services.
Seasonal transition should be a subtle thing done over time with headings, subheads and images all changing little and often to gradually ease customers in and reiterate the fact that ‘yes’ your company does cater for every season and offer a year round service.
So there are two to be getting on with in the mean time, but don’t worry, there is plenty more where that came from as next week I will be talking about such requests as SEO optimisation of websites and redesign or rebrand. I can’t wait!