When I got the green light to redesign our company’s corporate website earlier this year I had an internal Rocky moment.
I was pumped. This was my first web redesign project and it was an opportunity to play with messaging, exercise my creative brain and rework the face of the company. Fun! With our IT guru running alongside and the support of my co-workers I would make it to the top of those stairs, or, in this case, produce the greatest corporate website of all time.
And then I sat down to begin…Where to start? What comes first? What is my strategy? Those steps looked a little steeper now…
Having now completed my first corporate web redesign project, I’d like to take a look back on the journey and share some of what I learned with you. What worked? What didn’t? How would I do things differently for future projects?
Crystal clear messaging
The most important function of your corporate site is clearly stating your company’s messaging and offerings. I’ve been to websites in the past where I have clicked through for minutes, growing more and more frustrated, because nothing on the pages is telling me what you ACTUALLY DO. I did not want to create that website.
We have been reworking our company’s messaging in 2015, so I knew that every decision I made from text, to visuals to placement of content had to remain consistent with our overall message. In the end, this saved me a lot headaches. Had I looked at pieces of the site individually instead of constantly under the umbrella of our messaging, the end product would have been disjointed, confusing and frustrating for visitors.
Think like a visitor
While creating the site it often helped to put myself in the shoes of the visitor, especially when it came to the placement of content. Once a prospect is on your site you want to give them every reason to stay. Give them the information they need, but then give them a highly-visible opportunity to learn more.
If you have a text page explaining what your company does, utilize the sidebar to link to visuals and videos that will further explain the value of your company’s offerings. The visitor came here to learn about you. Make it easy for them.
Schedule, Schedule, Schedule
I know that I could not have done this alone. Web redesign requires multiple skillsets. While it is important to create a list of tasks for everyone to complete based on their strengths, it is also equally important to coordinate and build a timeline that efficiently utilizes everyone’s time.
This is where I would have done things differently. I figured if I got all of my tasks done at once and then just passed the ball off to the next person we would eventually reach the goal. In reality, we needed to pass the ball back and forth strategically. Unloading a bunch of completed tasks off onto someone is a recipe for confusion, lost content and wasted time trying to get back on the same page.
I learned some great lessons from my first web design project. The most important one being that you can’t just race to the top. It takes time, effort, teamwork and editing to achieve your desired outcome and have your moment at the top of the stairs.
Check out the new Strategic Communications Group corporate site here!