The Seven Habits of Effective Web Sites - HTML with Style | 7
The first thing that needs to be clearly understood when designing a Web site is what information you want to be available. This has to be the first thing you think about, right from the start, and is usually the most difficult issue to get right.
The process of deciding what gets offered is usually one of dialogue between the designer and the source of the information. Some times, a company doesn't even realise that they can offer some information on the Web. At other times, they believe that they should publish a whole load of stuff that would be only marginally useful.
The way to make the distinction is to think about what a visitor to your site would be looking for. For instance, is he knowledgeable in the subject matter you're covering? If most of your visitors are already experts in the field, you should deal in details, and concentrate on offering depth. If they're new to the field, then maybe you should offer a section introducing the visitors to your services.
Let's look at an example: Let's assume that you're a consulting company that offers ISO-9000 certification services. Obviously, you want people who would pay you for such a service to be convinced to do so by your Web site. Do these people already know a lot about ISO certification? If so, then you need to concentrate on describing how your company is better than your competitiors. You will want to use a lot of technical jargon that will be familiar to people who know about ISO-9000, and skip long introductions that will make your visitors either feel patronised or bored, as they're wading through things they already know in order to get to what they really want. If you believe your visitors will be new to the whole subject, you should devote a lot of effort to explaining what ISO-9000 certification is and why they might consider it.
It's important to consider which details you're going to offer. Will you offer a list of satisfied clients? Will you describe the people in your company that will deal with the clients, promoting their experience and expertise? Will you publicise your prices, or leave them for a later time?
Produced by Stephanos Piperoglou
Created: September 18, 2000
Revised: September 20, 2000