What does it take to build a better web site? Do you need to be flashier? Do you need to have bells and whistles? Should it have music playing? Do you need to cram it full of links?
Actually the best web sites are often the simplest. And the simplest thing to do is help people quickly find the information or product they want so they can move on to something else. With that in mind, when we talk to folks looking for a web site, the first question we ask is “What are the goals for your site?”
More customers is NOT a good answer to that question. Convert five web site visitors to customers each month IS a good answer. With that kind of clearly defined goal you can begin to look at what is the most effective way to convert a visitor to a customer and design around that.
The second question I usually ask is “Who is your target market?” And no, everyone, is not a good answer. The more clearly you can build an image of who the target market is, the more focused your site can be. If a Tuxedo shop, for example wanted to target brides (because they make the decision on what tuxes will be used) and their mothers, that will help to dictate what colors are used (white and baby blue perhaps), what textures the site should have (lots of lace in this example) and even what kinds of lines or shapes (rounded corners will look softer and more inviting).
So if you want to build a better web site, you don’t necessarily have to go cutting edge. Just determine what you want the site to do and who you want to market to and you’ll be well on the way to building a better site.